Increasing academic success
More money for academic success: starting from the winter semester 2015/16, the 14 Saxon universities have receiced additional funds for projects that help to improve academic success. While 56 million euros from the university pact funds were initially earmarked for this, the funding was increased by 20 million euros to 76 million euros in 2018. The term for the projects as part of the University Pact 2020 was extended until 2023.
With the conclusion of the Federal-State contract "Zukunftsvertrag Studium und Lehre" (pact for the future to strengthen studies and teaching) of June 6, 2019 a permanent follow-up programme to the University Pact 2020 was launched. The aims of the "Zukunftspakt" are a high quality of study and teaching nationwide, good study conditions across the German university landscape as well as the needs-based preservation of study capacities. Federal grants for the Free State of Saxony can be expected at the same level as from the University Pact in previous years (taking into account the completion funding of the University Pact). This means that the long-term financing of among other things study success projects is secured.
These additional funds support universities in helping students complete their studies successfully. The aim is to prevent students from dropping out and to help them study within the standard period of study if possible and achieve a high level of expertise. Given different requirements, this poses a great challenge for universities.
Among other things funding is provided for bridging courses, exercises and introductory lectures in subjects that pose a high barrier for students, for example mathematics and physics, tutorials by students from higher semesters, mentoring by professionals and volunteers, study models that enable early practical experience or measures to better integrate foreign students.
The European Social Fund (ESF) also supports projects of Saxon universities and the University of Cooperative Education in Saxony, which support them in increasing the academic success of their students and preventing dropouts. Special focus is placed on groups of students and courses in which dropouts are particularly common. ESF-funded projects give universities and the University of Cooperative Education the opportunity to develop and try out various concepts and methods, new formats of measures and specific manners of addressing target groups. The findings and appropriate approaches are then transferred to the regular study success measures of the universities and the University of Cooperative Education. The ESF in Saxony provides around 13 million euros in the 2014-2020 funding period for projects improving the academic success that may run beyond the end of the funding period until 2022.
These projects are part of the academic success strategy, which the Saxon universities take as the basis to evaluate the state of academic success and develop concepts for better academic success.