Homeschooling, limited or digital classes, fear of losing the connection – the current situation brought about by the corona pandemic causes considerable uncertainties for many young people. Against the background of the current challenges students are now also finding it particularly difficult to make plans for the period after the high school graduation on time. This is precisely where the Studienkompass offers support (Figure 1). With digital offers, workshops and coaching, the Studienkompass gives young people from families without an academic background guidance on careers and university studies. For the first time the non-profit support programme is being offered in the Ruhr area with the assistance of the RAG-Stiftung, Essen/Germany. Students from Bochum, Duisburg and Essen who will sit the high school graduation in 2023 and whose parents have not studied can apply now.
The corona pandemic clearly shows how much educational success is dependent on origin and how extremely important it therefore is to promote equal opportunities. By supporting students from non-academic families, the Studienkompass makes an important contribution to creating more equal opportunities for all young people making the transition from school to university or training or education. The aim is to support the students in their decision for a suitable course of education. The three-year support programme begins two years before the high school graduation. Depending on which path the recipients take after school, they are accompanied in the first year of their studies or training.
During the sponsorship the young people receive individual help. They discover the range of professional opportunities and get to know their own strengths better. Through workshops, digital events, individual coaching and the support of voluntary mentors, the recipients receive a diverse offer of support for a successful start to their future.
“The Studienkompass can also be implemented in the Ruhr area for the first time thanks to support from the RAG-Stiftung. Altogether we will be able to include around 20 young people in the programme”, says Bärbel Bergerhoff-Wodopia, Member of the Board of Executives at the RAG-Stiftung. Many training and education opportunities disappeared in the Ruhr area with the end of the coal mining sector, which had also offered prospects particularly to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. People know that many young people from non-academic families in the mining area would not take up studies without specific support. “In addition, the increasing digitalisation of the working world is also creating new challenges for young people, the past few months have clearly illustrated this once again. The RAG-Stiftung feels it has a responsibility to make an effective contribution to compensate for the lost education opportunities in the mining sector through the targeted support of training and education projects. This is where Studienkompass comes in. Talented students from disadvantaged families receive a reliable “compass”, which should definitely help them reach their educational goal. They are able to shape their future successfully and autonomously. We are really looking forward to the cooperation”, says Bergerhoff-Wodopia.
“Around 4,300 young people nationwide have successfully passed through the Studienkompass or are currently taking part in the programme. We are delighted to also be able to welcome students from the Ruhr area this year. Especially in times of a pandemic we provide effective support for the development of personal careers of our recipients. Apart from the support programme, our large network and the Studienkompass app for guidance on careers and university studies are good tools to successfully plan the beginning of studies and training”, adds Ulrich Hinz, Area Manager for Student Support at the Foundation of German Business.
Young people from the Ruhr area, who will sit their high school graduation in 2023 and whose parents have not studied, can apply online at www.studien-kompass.de/bewerbung up to 21st March 2021.
The online information events are a special supplementary offer this year. At these digital events interested students, their parents, as well as teachers, can obtain information about the support programme. More information about the events can be found online at www.studienkompass.de/online-info-termine. Applications are also always possible without participation in one of these events.
The support programme currently assists more than 1,100 students nationwide from families without academic experience in the transition from school to university or training. Around, 3,150 young people have already successfully gone through the programme. An independent academic evaluation of the programme, which was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) from 2007 to 2014, gives evidence of the high effectiveness. More information online at www.studien-kompass.de. (RAG-Stiftung/Si.)