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Preconditions in Place for Part-Time Study at Heidelberg University

Press Release No. 150/2011
18 May 2011
Study pace individually adjustable in an initial five subjects

Heidelberg will be the first university in Baden-Württemberg to provide opportunities for part-time study in a number of existing degree programmes. In its session on 17 May, the Senate approved the introduction of a cross-disciplinary part-time study model. This model is now to be put into practice for an initial five subjects, including four Bachelor’s and four Master’s degree programmes. As of the coming winter semester, students can decide individually on the amount of work they can manage and the pace at which will they complete it, either on a temporary or permanent part-time basis. There are plans to extend this offer to other subjects later.

Vice Rector for Study and Teaching Prof. Dr. Friederike Nüssel welcomes the new offering. “This is our response to the changing circumstances that many students are operating under,” she says. “Such students require flexible course structures enabling them to reconcile their studies with jobs, practical training or family responsibilities.” According to Prof. Nüssel there are already a sizable number of students completing their degrees in what amounts to a part-time scenario, but this fact has not yet been taken into account in the study regulations.

With the introduction of this part-time study model, Heidelberg University has created the formal preconditions for studying at an individual pace by making study periods and deadlines more flexible. In addition, the university will support part-time students with individual counselling and special courses. E-learning offerings are also designed to help ensure that degree programmes can genuinely be handled on a part-time basis. The new model is targeted both at those whose personal circumstances have so far made it impossible for them to study and at those already attending university.

“We want to make Heidelberg more attractive for people who would like to study but have been prevented from doing so by major obstacles,” says Dr. Andreas Barz, head of the university administration division for study, teaching and continuing academic education. The initiators of the new model agree that the university also stands to gain from the general and professional experience that part-time students have amassed. Financial support for the part-time study project at Heidelberg University comes from the programme “Study Models for Speed Flexibility” operated by Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts.

The first subjects in which part-time study is possible are economics/political economics (Bachelor), German studies in cultural comparison (Bachelor and Master), history (Bachelor and Master), geography (Bachelor and Master) and education (Master). There will be an information session on part-time study in these subjects at 10 a.m. on 27 May 2011 at the Seminarzentrum, Building 4311, Bergheimer Strasse 58, Heidelberg.

For more information on part-time study at Heidelberg University, go to (German only).

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