It is now 5 years since the Deutschlandstipendium, in English German Stipend, was first launched. Funded 50% by foundations, private persons and enterprises, and 50% by the Federal Government, it has now become an established part of university life and handing over the sponsoring certificates is a festive occasion. This is the sixth year in a row the University of Bremen has granted the stipend. Since last October, a total of 124 talented and pro-active students now receive monthly financial support in an amount of 300 euros – almost two-thirds of them for the first time. Eligibility for the stipend is rather unique. The recipients selected from 450 applicants not only boast excellent grades: Above all, they must also stand out for their social and civil engagement.
In his opening address, the President of the University of Bremen, Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter, stressed another significant aspect: “The German Stipend program is the only one which allows us to select the grant recipients ourselves. We are impressed by their diverse biographies and greatly appreciate their strong pro-active personalities. Notwithstanding, we also want to support young people who think out of the box, pro-active critical thinkers who want to contribute to society.”
Gerd-Rüdiger Kück, State Councilor for Science, Health and Consumer Protection, emphasized “(t)hat over the past five years the German Stipend has become firmly established at universities. Some 50 per cent of the grantees come from non-academic family backgrounds, a particularly welcome aspect from the perspective of education policy.” Gerd-Rüdiger Kück and his family have been sponsors themselves from the very beginning.
The special charm of the German Stipend lies in the fact that the sponsors do not remain anonymous. During the grant presentation ceremony at the University of Bremen, the sponsors and grantees have the opportunity to meet and learn something about each other. In an open discussion, sponsors and grantees alike spoke of their experiences as well as their commitment and expectations of the new funding year. The discussion was moderated by Professor Yasemin Karakaşoğlu, University Vice-President for International Affairs and Diversity.
Ideal accompanying support
The grant presentation ceremony also marks the beginning of an ideal form of additional support for the grantees. The University of Bremen offers them workshops designed to develop the soft skills required in careers and social life. Moreover, by meeting their sponsors they are able to gain insights into possible future career fields and make useful contacts for networking. As Professor Yasemin Karakaşoğlu points out, “(t)he idea behind this accompanying support is to help the grantees make even better use of their own potential and networking opportunities.”
What is the Deutschlandstipendium?
The German Stipend provides selected students with a monthly grant of 300 euros. According to the principle “half from the government, the rest from you”, the Federal Government contributes a total of 1,800 euros towards the stipend and the other half comes from private sources. This year, more than 50 enterprises, institutions, foundations, associations and private persons in Bremen and elsewhere have generously agreed to part fund stipends for individual students of the University of Bremen. Many sponsors decide not to limit their funding to one year only and enter into agreements to pay over a several year period. The sponsorship volume in 2016 amounts to more than 225,000 euros. This is the sum then matched by the Federal Government.
Who gets the stipend?
The grant is awarded to students who exhibit special talent and have a proven record of social engagement. Good school grades are one criterion for students who are just taking up their studies. Other selection criteria – and this is a special feature of the allocation procedure at the University of Bremen – is a proven record of social engagement and commitment to society, personal initiative, special circumstances such as caring for children or family members, a non-academic family background, or a migration background. The grantees are selected by a special stipend commission comprising students and professors of the University.
Of the 124 new grantees, 8 per cent are freshers. They are fortunate enough to be able to commence their studies with a secure grant behind them. About 40 per cent are master students. Around 60 per cent of the grantees are engaged in some kind of voluntary work alongside their studies and 56 per cent come from so-called non-academic family backgrounds. Almost 18 per cent have a migration background. “Our aim is to motivate young people to take up studying and at the same time to support civil engagement in the region. This has once again been made possible this year“, says a visibly pleased Yasemin Karakaşoğlu.
Who are the sponsors?
The University wishes to thank the following private persons, foundations and enterprises for the generous support offered to its students:
Alumni der Universität Bremen e.V. | AOK Bremen/Bremerhaven | BEGO GmbH & Co.KG | BREBAU GmbH | Brede Stiftung | BREKOM GmbH | Bremer Umweltinstitut | Bremische Volksbank e. G. – Stiftung | Conrad Naber Stiftung | Dr. Heinz-Horst Deichmann-Stiftung | Prof.Dr. Rolf Drechsler | Ernst A.C. Lange-Stiftung | FERCHAU ENGINEERING GmbH | Frits und Dorothea Witte-Stiftung | Gerda-Weßler-Stiftung | GESTRA AG | GUT FÜR BREMEN Stiftung der Sparkasse in Bremen | Hanseatische Software-Entwicklungs- u. Consulting GmbH (HEC) | Hanseatische Waren Handelsgesellschaft | Henry Lamotte Services GmbH | hkk Krankenkasse | i2b idea2business GmbH | IC International Campus AG | INDICO-SOLUTIONS GmbH | IPSEN LOGISTICS GmbH | KAEFER Isoliertechnik GmbH & Co.KG | Karin und Uwe Hollweg Stiftung | KELLNER & STOLL-STIFTUNG FÜR KLIMA UND UMWELT | Kieserling Stiftung | Dr. Elisabeth Klatte | Monika und Gerd-Rüdiger Kück | Prof.Dr. Rüdiger Lautmann | LIDL Vertriebs GmbH | Lions Club Bremen | Lions Club Bremen Wilhelm Olbers | Luers-Stiftung | Manfred und Ursula Fluß-Stiftung | MLP Finanzdienstleistungen AG | Prof.Dr. Ivo Mossig | Rector‘s Circle | reimer logistics GmbH & Co.KG | Rotary Distrikt 1850 | Rotary Club Bremen Bürgerpark | Rotary Club Bremen Hansa | Rotary Club Oyten | Santander Universitäten | Stiftung der Universität Bremen | Tandler Zahnrad- und Getriebefabrik GmbH & Co.KG | team neusta GmbH | Reiner Thöle | TRECOLAN GmbH | Uwe Heinrich Suhr Stiftung | Weber-Steinhaus & Smith Rechtsanwälte | Wolfgang Ritter Stiftung
If you would like to have more information, feel free to contact:
University of Bremen
Dr. Christina Jung
Phone: +49 421 218 60336
email: christina.jungprotect me ?!vw.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de