Photo credit: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg

2.3 Million Grant for ‘Student Affairs and Teaching’ from the Land of Baden-Württemberg

Aptitude tests for choosing a program of study, innovative teaching methods and advice services for international students: The University of Mannheim strives to ease students’ first steps at the university. In the second round of ‘Fonds Erfolgreich Studieren in Baden-Württemberg’ (FESt-BW) the Ministry of Science grants the University of Mannheim 2.3 million euros for these projects.

In the latest round of the ‘Fonds Erfolgreich Studieren in Baden-Württemberg’ (fund for studying successfully in Baden-Württemberg) of the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts (MWK), the University of Mannheim was successful in its application in four out of five funding lines. The grant of 2.3 million euros will be used to promote innovative teaching and other services. The projects’ common goal is to provide all students – regardless of gender, ethnicity, social background or particular difficult circumstances equal opportunities to earn a degree.

The funding line Starting your Studies comprises four projects to support students from their application to their graduation:  A compact website pools all relevant information for prospective students. From the moment they have applied, freshmen find everything they need to start their program of study at the University of Mannheim in one place, the Freshman Portal, and can prepare for their studies in the best possible way. Students, who are struggling, are contacted proactively by means of an early warning system and receive information on advice services. This service is complemented by an advice service for Changing Lanes, which helps students who struggle with the concept of studying in general make a decision and identify alternative career paths.

The second funding line Teaching and Learning Laboratories develops innovative teaching and learning resources with a strong connection to the actual work environment. Actors who pose as patients in the training of psychotherapists are an example of such an innovative teaching concept. Law students are confronted with real-world cases from law firms during their seminars and students of history have the opportunity to work together with local cultural institutions.

With the funds from the line Aptitude and Admission, a psychological test for self-reflection is to be developed. The test enables students to reflect on their choice of program.

Moreover, the University of Mannheim takes part in a collaborative project that is to redesign the admissions process to the psychology program. Next to a subject-specific admissions test, self-reflection tests designed to support students in finding out whether the psychology program is really what they are looking for are planned to be developed.  

Services for international students at the University of Mannheim are to be further improved as part of the funding line Arrival and Student Success.  The planned measures include intensified advice services at the beginning of studies and more close-knit consultation during the program of study.