2. June 2022 | Magazine:

Studying as a challenge instead of a matter of course Focus 2022: First Generation Students at TU Braunschweig

What does it mean to be the first person in your family to attend university? What hurdles do you have to overcome and what offers can help you to master your studies? This year, the topic of First Generation Students is the focus of the activities of the Diversity Office at Technische Universität Braunschweig. The initiators are President Professor Angela Ittel and Anouk Almstedt, consultant at the Diversity Office of the Equal Opportunity Office.

Students from non-academic households often perceive studying as a challenge – they form a large group among students in Germany, but are still underrepresented: While 79 out of 100 children from academic households start studying at university, only 27 out of 100 from non-academic households do[1].

Making barriers visible and breaking them down

TU-Präsidentin Prof. Angela Ittel. Bildnachweis: Kristina Rottig/TU Braunschweig

TU President Prof. Angela Ittel. Photo credit: Kristina Rottig/TU Braunschweig

There are also differences between these two groups during their studies. First Generation Students drop out more often and are less likely to opt for a Master’s degree or a doctorate. The reasons for this are manifold. Barriers can arise from low financial resources, a lack of information or a lack of academic role models. “At TU Braunschweig, our goal is to raise awareness of these barriers and actively break them down. In this way, we want to promote individual talents in our society as well as strengthen social diversity at our university,” emphasises President Angela Ittel.

For diversity and equal opportunities

Anouk Almstedt, consultant at the Diversity Office. Photo credit: Max Fuhrmann/TU Braunschweig

In order to achieve this goal, the Diversity Office is working with various TU Braunschweig institutions to develop a wide range of services. These include projects to support students in the introductory phase of their studies, information to enable them to study abroad as First Generation Students or workshops on learning techniques.

“From the perspective of discrimination-critical diversity, we focus on structural inequality and recognise the diversity and difference of people,” explains Anouk Almstedt, consultant at the Diversity Office.

Diversity Day on 14 July

Diversity Day (Tag der Vielfalt) on 14 July likewise reflects the Focus 2022 and creates visibility for initiatives and projects in the field of diversity and anti-discrimination at TU Braunschweig and in the city of Braunschweig. As every year, the rainbow flag will be raised and experts, moderated by President Angela Ittel, will explore the question: “What can universities do to promote social diversity?

First Generation Academics Wanted

One project within the scope of Focus 2022 is to promote the visibility of Role Models. Often, first-generation students receive less guidance from their parents, but academic role models play an important role in successfully completing a degree and subsequent career steps. People who have completed an academic career with a similar educational background can be an inspiration. Therefore, the Diversity Office is looking for TU Braunschweig employees who were the first in their family to study. We would like to present you and your career in the TU Braunschweig magazine by means of a short portrait. Interested first generation academics are kindly invited to contact the Diversity Office and actively support first generation students.

Focus 2022: First Generation Students

Further information on the Focus 2022: First Generation Students at TU Braunschweig and many supportive and informative offers for students and interested parties can be found on the website of the Diversity Office.

The Focus 2022 will be continuously expanded in the course of the year. The Diversity Office looks forward to receiving suggestions and ideas from all students and employees of TU Braunschweig!

[1] Further information and sources on the website of the Diversity Office.