RWTH Provides 589 Scholarships for Outstanding Students
In the federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia, RWTH is the university with the highest number of student scholarships: In the current academic year, 589 RWTH students receive financial and other support through the University’s Education Fund programme. To make this extensive student support possible, the university has raised more than € 1 million from private sector donors. Any financial contribution from the private sector is doubled by federal and state matching funds, provided through the NRW and National Scholarship programmes ("Deutschlandstipendium").
The Education Fund Scholarship Programme was launched in the winter term of 2009/2010. This year, for the first time, the programme also receives funding through the National Scholarship scheme, which provides financial support for 149 scholarship students. Further 440 scholarships are awarded in collaboration with the NRW scholarship scheme.
Both the National and the NRW Scholarship schemes follow the same principle: Each contribution in the value of €1,800, made to the University by private persons, companies, foundations, and associations, is complemented by a €1,800 contribution from public-sector funds. The aggregate amount makes it possible to provide an individual scholarship recipient with a monthly stipend of €300, for a one-year period. This support helps scholarship students to fully concentrate on their studies with less worry about financial matters. Also, it helps them to fund their study abroad experience.
As Ricarda Jüsten, a scholarship recipient since 2010/11, puts it: "The NRW Education Fund scholarship makes it possible for me to go to Dublin for study abroad. Also, I am in close contact with the donor of my scholarship, at whose company I am currently working as a student trainee."
The University’s fundraising team, headed by Angela Poth, was able to raise funds in the amount of over €1 million from over 80 private-sector donors, including foundations and major companies like Bosch, Continental, and AachenMünchener Versicherung. Also, several alumni and RWTH spin-off companies, such as aixigo AG, contributed to the programme. Explaining the company’s commitment to the Education Fund, Erich Borsch, member of the Board of Directors of aixigo AG, states that, "We know how important it is for young talents to receive an outstanding education. For this reason, we wish to make it easier for dedicated students to fully focus on their studies and their research projects."
RWTH Aachen University seeks to further extend the Education Fund scholarship programme: next year, the fundraising team strives to acquire funding for about 800 scholarships. In the long term, RWTH sets out to provide 10 per cent of its student body with a monthly stipend of €300,00.