Social background still very much determines whether young people choose to study. While 74 out of 100 children from academic households go to university, only 21 out of 100 children from non-academic families do. Within the framework of ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnerships, the goal of project “POWERst- emPOWERing first generation STudents” was to find out more about the reasons and facilitate access to higher education, especially for first-generation students.
The project was run by the University of Stuttgart as consortium leader in collaboration with Sciences Po Bordeaux and Amsterdam University Medical Centers as well as the YES Forum, a network of 40 organizations across Europe. ArbeiterKind.de will contribute to the project as an associated partner.
The main aim of “POWERst – emPOWERing first generation STudents” was tocontribute to building a more inclusive higher education system in Europe. Therefore the purpose of the project was to help students in successfully completing higher education study programs and in potentially pursuing a scientific career by supporting and empowering them and potential applicants. At the same time, the porject aimed at providing help and material for University staff in teaching and administration.
Learn more about the project consortium
The University of Stuttgart is one of the leading technically oriented universities in Germany with a broad spectrum of teaching and research in engineering, the natural and social sciences and humanities. It counts among the outstanding research universities in Germany and the world. Thanks to its research-guided teaching and interdisciplinary research profile (The Stuttgarter Weg (Stuttgart Way), the guiding principle of networked disciplines, characterizes the special profile of the University of Stuttgart and has become one of its trademarks. Cultural diversity and consistent cooperation of complementary disciplines facilitate the use of different approaches.) Stemming from the integration of engineering, natural, cultural and social sciences, the University of Stuttgart has positioned itself as an in-demand place to study both nationally and internationally. As of December 2019, more than 24,540 students, 21.4% of whom have an international background, are enrolled at the University of Stuttgart. About 5,300 people work at the University of Stuttgart, which is comprised of 3,420 academic staff and 1,888 non-academic staff.
As a signatory to the Diversity Charter “Charta der Vielfalt”, the University of Stuttgart accommodates diversity and equal opportunity and fosters fair dealing with one another – regardless of status, age, background and gender. The University of Stuttgart promotes equal opportunity for its members in all areas and fields of activity. It sees diversity as an opportunity and as a source and guarantee of innovative ideas and developments, and follows its vision “Intelligence through diversity”, which is also the title of the University’s diversity strategy released in Mai 2020.
Motivated by the increasing diversity of student groups and the need to foster a more inclusive learning and campus environment, the diversity management of the University of Stuttgart has defined ‘Social Inclusion’ as one of its future priorities. In addition, the University of Stuttgart is one of the best universities in Germany at taking care of its new students. These are the findings of the CHE University Rankings published in the newspaper article “Die Zeit’s Guide to Student Life for the Academic Year 2019/20”, which ranked the support given to new students in the top category in nine out of twelve subjects. The University of Stuttgart also scored well above average when it came to doctoral degree studies per professor and the international orientation of its master’s degree programs, rating in the top category seven and six times respectively.
Project Coordinator: Christine Sälzer,
Sciences Po Bordeaux, a public higher education and research establishment, was created in 1948. It is one of the ten French political studies institutes and is part of the Conferénce of the Grandes Ecoles. The school is located on a campus near the center of Bordeaux and has more than 2,100 students.
Following the European model "LMD", the institute offers 18 specialization courses, in different fields such as: international affairs, public careers, project management, and communication. Opening up to the international is a priority for the establishment, which offers integrated bi-national courses and partnerships with universities around the world.
First Institute of Political Studies for its scholarship rate (30%), the school attaches particular importance to social diversification. The establishment has notably set up the JPPJV (Sciences Po Bordeaux, Je le Peux Parce que Je le Veux !) system labeled "Cordée de la Réussite", which reduces the territorial and social inequalities of high school students from rural establishments and prepares them for the entrance exams of Sciences Po Bordeaux. More than 500 students from 43 partner high schools have benefited from this system since its creation in 2005. The Institute also takes care of welcoming students from southern countries, with the BALAFON program, which broadens the policy of social openness and equal opportunities to deserving French-speaking African students.
Sciences Po Bordeaux is also:
- More than 25% of its students are of foreign nationality.
- Lifelong learning
- Two internationally renowned research centers in human and social sciences
- Preparations for the most prestigious national, territorial and hospital public service competitions
- An active policy in favor of rapid professional integration of its graduates.
Prof. Vincent Tiberj, Délégué Recherche, E-Mail: v.tiberj @ sciencespobordeaux.fr
Marie Annézo, Chargée d'Études Statistiques, Pôle Carrières & Partenariats, E-Mail: email@example.com
The Faculty of Medicine VU Amsterdam is affiliated with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) and linked to Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc which, as a non-profit organization, integrates training, research and care. The role of the Faculty of Medicine VU Amsterdam is to train physicians and conduct research. It is ambitious in its teaching and research and encourages the free and open communication of ideas.
The Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc is a university medical center standing for excellent scientific research combined with patient care and high quality scientific education. More than 1.500 scientists are located at Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc. In addition, each year roughly 200 PhD students defend their theses. Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc has a strong international profile both in research and education which is reflected in its strong citation scores, its extensive international network, the high number of students doing part of their traineeships abroad, an English taught minor as an integral part of the regular medicine program, its international research master programs, and the specialized continuation courses offered abroad.
The university has strong links with people and society. VU Amsterdam has been known for its distinctive approach to academic practice. It is ambitious in its teaching and research and encourages the free and open communication of ideas. VU Amsterdam stands for such universal university values as academic freedom and independence; values that are reflected in its name ('VU' is the Dutch abbreviation for 'free university'). The university's basic philosophy is revealed in its three core values: responsible, open and personally engaged. VU Amsterdam is a highly diverse community. The staff and students represent many different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, faiths and personal ideologies. The university wants to derive maximum benefit from this diversity. It aims to introduce greater differentiation in its education programs to meet the needs of the diverse student groups. It has special schemes in place for talented students, students from abroad and for those who want a wider choice of subjects in their courses.
Contact Person: Dr. Miriam E. van Strien
Teamleider Strategie en Beleid van Onderwijs (Groep A), Opleidingscoördinator Masters Oncology & Cardiovascular Research
The YES Forum is a network of organisations working with and for young people who face disadvantages stemming from their socio-economic background, educational difficulties, discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity, and/or geographical seclusion.
With their work, they support the EU youth policy process. The main areas they focus on in their work are education and training, youth employment, youth participation, and social inclusion. Furthermore, they support the objectives of the European Youth Goals and strive to always develop new and innovative ways to work with and for young people.
They are resolute about the best way to reach these objectives: it can only be done through a strong youth and social work sector across Europe.
Contact Person: Annett Wiedermann
Director and Project Manager
The University of Stuttgart has a cooperation with the associated partner, ArbeiterKind.de, a nonprofit-organization supporting first-generation and prospective students in Germany. ArbeiterKind.de encourages students who are the first in their family to attend university and support them on their way to graduation. Since May 2014, the University of Stuttgart has provided the initiative with an office and the necessary infrastructure for this work. The collaboration will be strengthened in the future, particularly through the work of this project and beyond.
Contact Person: Jaana Espenlaub,
Coordinator (State of Baden-Württemberg),