Start of the summer semester with a program to combat learning deficits

Lectures resume these days at many universities in Baden-Württemberg. Face-to-face operations will finally become the norm again in the summer semester.



Press release

Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts

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In order to make the resumption of education as smooth as possible, the 45 state universities and the three academies have implemented an extensive program for their students to reduce learning deficits. Universities use the 28 million euros made available by the State in a targeted and creative way in order to best support the academic success of students with additional offers.

“This money is well invested, because it has enabled our universities to develop around 3,000 additional didactic offers to support their students in their learning or to better network with each other. Tutorials, coaching or workshops on scientific work help to reduce the learning deficits caused by the pandemic and help as many students as possible successfully master their studies,” Science Minister Theresia Bauer said Thursday (April 21) in Stuttgart.

“Personal contact with teachers and other students is also intensified, since more than 70% of the funded measures take place in person. Students find excellent study conditions, whether at the start of their studies, during their studies or to support their thesis,” continues Bauer.

Universities were able to develop complementary offerings in three program areas. The range of measures is extremely diverse:

  • Tutorials, bridging courses and learning groups
    More than 1,000 additional tutorials (37% of measurements) make it easier to catch up on specialized knowledge. Universities don’t just rely on classic weekly formats. Open and supervised learning rooms, reading groups or summer camps allow not only professional exchanges, but also personal encounters.
  • Offers for teaching self-study skills and skills in scientific work
    In workshops, online qualifications or research and writing workshops, students receive qualified support in writing their assignments or thesis. Topics such as time management, self-study skills or exam anxiety are also covered in order to support the good organization of studies. The proportion of measures in the field of scientific work accounts for 9%, in the field of study skills 31%.
  • Individual consulting and coaching offers
    About a quarter of the measures support students individually through coaching and advice. Experienced psychologists are available to manage exam anxiety, additional counseling hours allow for one-to-one interaction with teachers, and students support other students through mentoring programs. Individual measures even allow multi-day coaching on study design in an undisturbed environment outside the university.

A number of useful educational offerings have been created in response to the restrictions caused by the pandemic and have proven successful. A recent publication by the Ministry of Science shows how creatively and successfully universities have developed new measures during the digital semester to facilitate the start of studies and make up for learning deficits. Almost 500 good practice examples are analyzed and 35 impressive examples are presented in detail.

“The measures that have been newly created at universities and presented in the publication will remain valid even after the pandemic: in addition to face-to-face offers, online modules can, for example, support a self-controlled catch-up of learning deficits. A look on the concepts and experiences of the digital semesters is really worthwhile in order to select the best ones and take them with you into the teaching of the future,” said Minister Theresia Bauer.

The publication can be downloaded here.

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