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Department of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Technical Journalism

H-BRS StartGut

Universities have to face the challenge that first-year students become increasingly heterogeneous concerning their level of knowledge, learning prerequisites and life experiences. There is no guarantee that school knowledge provides enough foundation for higher education. That's the reason why the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation and the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Humanities and Sciences in Germany launched the two-year funding program "Innovative Studieneingangsphase" (innovative introductory study phase) in 2014. As one of five universities, the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences has convinced the jury of its concept and continues the "StartGut" (start well) project independently after the successful funding phase.

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The StartGut-project offers students with needs for assistance during an introductory semester the opportunity to find an orientation in the university and departments. Through accompanying individual support, students start motivated and goal-oriented in the appropriate study program. This concept has been pursued since the summer semester 2015 in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Technical Journalism. Currently, the program is aimed at prospective students of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and sustainable engineering.

Active approach to students and prospective students with difficult conditions

A core component of this is the active approach of the university to students who bear an increased risk of a withdrawal, because of their (educational) biography and difficult conditions. This is done firstly by a personal consultation before the start of the studies with applicants who want to get directly into the funding program. Thanks to existing cooperations with vocational colleges and schools, potential prospects are reached and the StartGut-project of the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences is known.

Secondly, students from the first semester, who show weaknesses (for example in exercises) or do not appear after a few weeks, are personally approached by the university in order to explain the possibilities of support. In this way, students who are disadvantaged in the case of a "normal" entry into the study and who would therefore break off, should be advised regarding the extended study entry phase. If this also does not seem promising, students are shown for example career prospects in craft, as part of an existing cooperation agreement with the Chamber of Crafts in Cologne.


Specialist promotion, personality development and placement of professional perspectives

In addition to individual guidance, students are offered courses in mathematics, an exercise that combines mathematical and technical content, a learning excursion, the opportunity for accompanying learning in the study's workshop, advice in the area of ​​self-competence and contacts to alumni. Although the introductory semester extends the study this extension or an early reorientation is better than a late withdrawal.

Further information about the StartGut-project can be found on the FAQ-Page (german ) and at the study's workshop, where StartGut-participants meet to study together. Register for StartGut.

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The Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences thanks the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Humanities and Sciences in Germany Donors' Association for the Promotion of Humanitites and Sciences in Germany for the start-up financing of H-BRS StartGut in the years 2014 to 2016.