Consolidating the scholarship tradition: Students at Mainz University receiving a German National Scholarship meet their sponsors

Strenghtening the network of business, academia, and society


Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) was one of the first universities in Germany to participate in the National Scholarship Program (Deutschlandstipendium) initiated by the Federal Government in 2011. To date, all in all 202 JGU students have been supported by this program. To finance these scholarships, JGU has managed to raise some €470,000 from companies and businesses, private donators, and foundations. In the moment, 102 talented students receive financial support through the National Scholarship Program, which is designed to promote academic excellence. In order to bring together the sponsors and the scholarship holders, Mainz University just organized an informal get-together evening. "We are happy that almost all sponsors and scholarship students can take the opportunity to meet and swap ideas, and thus to strengthen the network of business, academia, and society", says the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Dr. Georg Krausch. "It is these commitment of private donors and sponsors that helps us to do high-level research and teaching. We see the German National Scholarship Program as our chance to further expand and consolidate the active scholarship tradition of our university." The Deutschlandstipendium scholarships are designed to provide support to gifted and particularly talented students who then receive €300, regardless of own or parents' income, over a period of at least two semesters. The scholarships are funded half by the German Federal Government and half by private donors.

In 2012, Mainz University attracted funding for the Deutschlandstipendium of about €230,000 from 24 companies, private donors, and foundations. The money will be used to fund both one-year scholarships as well as scholarships covering a period of up to four years. The scholarships awarded include, among others, 20 Deutschlandstipendium scholarships sponsored by the Friends of Mainz University, 15 Evonik Deutschlandstipendium scholarships, and 10 Carl Zeiss Foundation scholarships. Particularly worth mentioning: The recipient of the 2010/2011 Rhineland-Palatinate Teaching Award, Professor Dr. Stefan Scherer of the Institute of Nuclear Physics at Mainz University, donated his prize money to finance five scholarship grants. "The National Scholarship Program represents an excellent way to financially support up-and-coming academics at our university," explains Scherer. "I have decided to donate the prize money from my 2010/2011 Rhineland-Palatinate Teaching Award as a way of expressing my deepest thanks to the students for voting for me and thus again providing evidence of their endorsement of my work. To be successful, learning and teaching must be based on mutual trust and respect. Of course, I would be thrilled if my gesture was to be imitated and future teaching award recipients used the opportunity to provide optimum support for young talents."

Scholarships are also being financed by Bertelsmann AG, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co KG, Clariant, Ernst & Young Stiftung e.V., the Friends of the Botanic Garden, Heraeus Kulzer GmbH Division Dentistry, Herdt-Verlag für Bildungsmedien, Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz-Stiftung, medatixx GmbH & Co. KG, NSM-Löwen Entertainment GmbH, Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH, and Rohwedder & Partner Rechtsanwälte. The following private individuals are sponsoring one or more scholarships: Dr. Klaus Adam, Hans-Joachim Belitz, Professor Dr. Rolf Krebs, Dr. Elke Göbel and Dr. Reiner Göbel, and Klaus Wierzbicki. There are also other donors who wished to remain unnamed.

"When selecting the scholarship recipients, the most important factor is proven top performance at secondary school and/or at university. In addition, the assumption of social responsibility within the family, societies and associations, or in social institutions may also be taken into account. Another selection criterion can be the applicant’s family background," explains the Chancellor of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Götz Scholz. Support is thus provided to young talented people who are willing to assume responsibilities in business and academic communities beyond their own specialist field and qualifications. The program is also designed to make it possible for young people to attend university who might not otherwise be able to do so for financial reasons. The scholarship recipients are selected by the university.

By sponsoring Deutschlandstipendium scholarships at JGU, donors not only demonstrate their social responsibility but also emphasize their commitment to Mainz University. "There is no doubt that the future of our country lies in the hands and minds of a well-educated next generation. The German National Scholarship Program is thus an important means of providing optimal support and challenges to the talents of young people in a decisive phase of their lives," claims Peter Radermacher, Chairman of the Friends of Mainz University. "We gladly provide financial support for 20 Deutschlandstipendium scholarships at Mainz University. We see this as an opportunity to provide highly targeted and individual support which in the end will benefit society."

Companies see the National Scholarship Program as an excellent chance to establish contact with the leaders and managers of tomorrow. Thus Evonik Industries AG, one of the world's leading specialist chemical companies, is participating in the federal support program by sponsoring 15 Deutschlandstipendium scholarships. "Our funding of the Deutschlandstipendium scholarships is both intended to provide support for the executives of tomorrow and at the same time make a social contribution," states Christine Drath of Employer Branding at Evonik Industries. "Our support of the scholarship program allows us to create and intensify contact and cooperation with relevant universities and to promote the transfer of knowledge."

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) was one of the first universities in Germany to participate in the National Scholarship Program initiated by the Federal Government in 2011. There are already first sponsorship commitments for 2013. The Deutschlandstipendium scholarships were made possible by the Scholarship Program Act (StipG) approved by the German Federal Government in July 2010. The Deutschlandstipendium scholarships are designed to provide support to gifted and particularly talented students who receive, regardless of income, €300 a month over a period of at least two semesters. Donations can be claimed as tax exempt.