"A scholarship is both a support and an award." With these words of appraisal, Prof. Dr. Alexander von Birgelen, Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs, welcomed the scholarship holders who gathered online on November 13, 2020 for the first virtual ceremony to award the 2020/21 Deutschlandstipendium scholarships. With 39 scholarships this year, the university is once again supporting an exceptionally high number of students. The university has been using the maximum funding quota for years and can therefore use funding from the federal state that has not been called up to award additional scholarships.
In his speech, the Vice-President paid a special tribute to the VEG – Geisenheim Alumni Association e.V. – that has been sponsoring students since the scholarship program was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in 2010. Another regular sponsor is the Sigi und Hans Meder Foundation that also sponsors five scholarships.
In times of rising uncertainties and pandemic-related financial hardship, the support of the scholarship program is now more important than ever, emphasized Prof. Hans Reiner Schultz, President of Hochschule Geisenheim University. He also encouraged students to stay in touch with the scholarship sponsors to establish viable relationships.
“Understanding what really holds our world together in its very core” – this thirst for knowledge that motivated Goethe’s Faust could also be a great source of motivation for our scholarship holders, added Prof. Gerd Helget, Representative of the Deutschlandstipendium program at Hochschule Geisenheim University. Metaphorically speaking, the scholarship is opening doors for students to venture into unknown territories. Leaving your mark, gaining new experiences along the way and getting off the beaten track – these are the ingredients for a successful scholarship year.
In order to be able to venture into new territories, however, students need someone to open up the door for them. The sponsors are very dedicated to take up this role. As representative of all sponsoring companies, Michèlle Meissner from the publishing house Intervinum AG in Switzerland talked about the reasons to support students as part of the scholarship program. She explained that the university’s professional approach and the shared values and quality standards are the perfect basis for support and exchange. The contacts that are established as part of the program are persistent and durable – even beyond the scholarship year.
After the official speeches,all participants had to access new rooms virtually for the presentation and announcements of the tandem partnerships between sponsoring companies and sponsored students. Three breakout rooms – allocated according to degree programs – provided a personal setting to introduce students and company representatives. The introductions were made by the Heads of Degree Programs who acted as a moderator. Thanks to this year’s online edition, the approximately 25 people in each of the individual “rooms” had more time for a professional exchange than during the traditional award ceremony.
After 45 minutes, everyone returned to the virtual main room to give the floor to the scholarship holders at the end of the ceremony. A lot of creativity was required at that point, because students tackled the subject of “Studies & Scholarships” in form of poetry slams. In the poetry competition they questioned what is expected from scholarship holders, how important relationships are in life and what can be considered as “good” in Corona times.
There was one point all students agreed on: The scholarship means so much more than just receiving 300 euros per month for a period of one year.
The poetry slam of the sponsorship holders can be viewed here: www.hs-geisenheim.de/deutschlandstipendium
Sponsors of the 2020/21 Deutschlandstipendium scholarship:
- August Fichter GmbH
- Barbara Wehowsky GmbH & Co. KG
- Clemens GmbH & Co. KG
- Die Weinberater GmbH
- Eckes Granini Group GmbH
- Eggers & Franke Holding GmbH
- ERO GmbH
- Gartenbauverband Baden-Württemberg-Hessen e.V.
- Gartenbau-Versicherung VVaG
- Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG
- Globus Logistik GmbH & Co. KG
- Gramenz GmbH
- Importhaus Wilms / Impuls GmbH
- InnovaPlant GmbH & Co. KG
- Intervinum AG
- Landschaftsarchitektur Plus GmbH
- Richtig GaLaBau GmbH
- Rinn Natursteine GmbH & Co. KG
- Rotkäppchen-Mumm Sektkellereien GmbH
- Rüsselsheimer Winzerfreunde
- Saffer Wein GmbH
- Schloss Wachenheim AG
- Schuler Service GmbH & Co KG
- Selters Mineralquelle Augusta Viktoria GmbH
- Sigi und Hans Meder Stiftung
- VEG – Geisenheim Alumni Association e.V.
- Vinissima Frauen und Wein e.V.
- WISAG Garten- und Landschaftspflege GmbH & Co. KG
About the Deutschlandstipendium
The Deutschlandstipendium is the biggest public-private scholarship program in Germany supporting young talents at state and state-recognized universities. Students of all degree programs receive 300 euros irrespective of their personal income. 150 euros are financed by private sponsors such as companies, foundations and private individuals. The federal government matches this amount with another 150 euros. Scholarship holders are among the most gifted students in their degree program, are involved in voluntary work or have worked hard for their place at university. In 2018 more than 27,200 students benefitted from the scholarship program. At Hochschule Geisenheim University the Deutschlandstipendium is run by the Communication and University Relations department. Further information can be found at: www.deutschlandstipendium.de.