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An Optimal Start

Federal State gives 1.9 million euros funding to University of Freiburg projects to make starting studies easier

Freiburg, Feb 01, 2019

An Optimal Start

Photo: Patrick Seeger

An app to help with choice of subject, satisfied students from the start and entrepreneurial independence from early on — there is a wide range of projects designed to make starting studying at the University of Freiburg easier. With almost 1.9 million from the Fonds Erfolgreich Studieren in Baden-Württemberg (FESt-BW), the Federal State is supporting a total of ten measures from five funding lines at the University of Freiburg.

Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Science Theresia Bauer congratulated the University of Freiburg on its successful results in the bidding process. “With its varied and innovative programs the University of Freiburg aims to ensure individual support for all students – whether German-speaking or from abroad.” She recognized that as all the measures from the various funding lines at the University of Freiburg are optimally coordinated and closely linked, they are therefore part of the higher education strategy. “With its holistic concept the University of Freiburg is supporting its students on their path to successful studies,” the Minister concluded.


“Studienstart” funding line

The Freiburg “Modell zum erfolgreichen Studienstart” headed by Dr. Günter Schmidt-Gess from the Teaching Development department implements a total of four measures: Freiburg’s Online Studychoice Assistants (OSAs) currently offer realistic insights into 31 degree programs at the University of Freiburg. The funding from the Federal State will ensure that this successful digital orientation tool can be useful in the long term and will be reliably kept up to date. The OSAs will be expanded to include another four degree programs. In addition, a study orientation app is being developed which is also suited to new students: the app guides potential students through their choice of subject, provides reminders for key deadlines in the application process and supports them throughout the entire first year.

A successful first year is also the goal of the “Fokus erstes Studienjahr” option: there are new workshops designed to support the students with their studies and teach them how to cope with doubt, time-management and self-management, deal with general and examination stress, and acquire learning strategies.

Two more Instructional Development Awards (IDA), which the University has awarded for outstanding instructional development projects since 2009, will help the faculties to improve their study introduction phase.

The Higher Education department offers a curriculum development option in the study introduction phase. Faculties and degree programs can obtain advice on structuring curricula more flexibly, and be supported with the realization of development measures with the aim of avoiding drop outs as far as possible.


“Lehr- und Lernlabore” funding line

A new Teaching and Learning tool, “SELF” (Service Learning University of Freiburg), is being launched at the University of Freiburg under the responsibility of the Teaching Development department. The aim is for students to combine academic studies with social engagement in the areas of interculturality & migration, environment & sustainability, political lobbying, digitization and its effects on people and society, and development in life sciences and environmental sciences and the social challenges.


“Gründungskultur” funding line

Students on the project are introduced to the concept of entrepreneurial independence at an early stage and taught relevant skills. Eight faculties deploy teaching formats intended to expand on the issue of entrepreneurialism in their subjects and in addition contribute to a two-semester interdisciplinary course. Dr. Markus Strauch, Coordinator of Teaching and Training at the Freiburg Academy of Continuing Education (FRAUW) is in charge of the program at the University of Freiburg. Three of the options are managed by the University of Furtwangen, and expand the spectrum right up to product development.


“Eignung und Auswahl” funding line

Together with colleagues at the universities of Tübingen and Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Heiko Heerklotz of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Freiburg is developing a study suitability test for the subject of pharmaceutics.

Prof. Dr. Andrea Kiesel and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bengel from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Freiburg together with colleagues from the universities of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Tübingen and Ulm are developing a concept for structuring the selection process for the Psychology Bachelor’s degree program in a way that is both more legally sound and more equitable.

With his colleagues from the universities of Tübingen and Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Lutz Hein from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Freiburg is continuing to develop student selection procedures for medicine: he wants to study the effect of practical and vocational preliminary qualifications on study success and suitability.


“Ankunft und Studienerfolg” funding line

Thanks to the funding, the University of Freiburg can expand existing services so as to offer international students optimal study conditions as well. This includes qualified and enhanced advice on the start of studying, an expanded multilingual digital service and enhanced care services while studying.


Prof. Dr. Juliane Besters-Dilger
Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203-6971