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125 hours for Bremen – credit points for the study program
October 22, 2020
International students bring their expertise to schools, associations, initiatives or authorities in the Bremen region and at the same time gain practical experiences. The prospective academics help solve problems and learn something new: this is the basic idea of a pilot project at Jacobs University, which is to become a fixed component and obligatory part of the students' studies. "Our university offers a lot for Bremen and the surrounding area. We have set ourselves the goal of integrating this institutionally into our course offerings," says sociologist Dr. Jakob Fruchtmann, one of the initiators of the "Community Impact Project".
Whether in computer or engineering sciences, chemistry, mathematics or business administration – Jacobs University in Bremen is a vibrant knowledge hub. Jacobs University's students learn and conduct their own research on forward-looking topics. In the future, they will apply the knowledge they have acquired with and for partners and people in the region – to the benefit of both sides. The project partners receive expert support from young, motivated students who are involved with the latest research on a daily basis. The students gain practical experience. The students’ learning objectives include developing their own projects or finding regional partners. "They should be concerned with which projects create added value for society and what contribution they can make," says Alena Klein, coordinator of the Community Impact Project.
In this way, students of mathematics are developing a platform with which they want to help pupils in Bremen to successfully pass their final exams in math. There is a cooperation with the Bremen Transport Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency on issues such as promoting car sharing and measuring air pollution. Another group of students has produced videos including anonymously submitted reports of experiences with racial discrimination, which is read out by others and reflected upon. It is planned to examine the subject more deeply at an event in Bremen to promote a public discussion on the topic.
"The response of our students to the new offer is extremely positive. Students have been waiting to do something for the region," Fruchtmann explains. Nearly 100 of them are participating in the pilot phase of the project in the current academic year 2020/21. Next year, when it becomes obligatory for students in their 5th semester, there will be over 300. They will be able to form interdisciplinary teams and they will do a lot of work for the community. The scope for each individual is 125 hours. Through the module, students can earn credit points for their Bachelor's degree.
Contact for project proposals: Alena Klein, Community Impact Project Coordinator E-Mail: A.Klein [at] jacobs-university.de