Investing into the future – BILSTER BERG is committed to the Studienfonds OWL foundation

“Young people are our future and only with education can we move forward,” says Frank Igelbrinck, authorised signatory at BILSTER BERG. That’s why he has campaigned for BILSTER BERG to become involved with the OWL Study Fund Foundation.

The foundation was established in 2009 by the five universities of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Ostwestfalen-Lippe. These include the universities in Bielefeld and Paderborn, the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and the Detmold University of Music.

Its aim is to help ensure that everyone who is suitable and motivated can enrol in a degree programme. The aim is to support personal and professional development and to attract particularly talented students to the OWL region.

On the one hand, this takes the form of material support from companies in the amount of €1,800 yearly, a relatively modest amount that is doubled for merit scholarship holders through public subsidies from the Germany Scholarship Programme of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Social scholarships are also awarded for students in special financial need.

But the heart of the funding is the non-material funding. The scholarship holders are invited by the sponsoring companies to events, workshops, seminars or lectures. This establishes contact with the sponsoring companies and creates networks among the scholarship holders themselves.

The meetings and exchanges help the scholarship holders in their choice of career and future employer. At the same time, the companies establish ties with potential applicants early on, are in constant contact and are informed about what concerns the next generation. This does not always have to happen at a lecture or workshop, but can also happen at the bowling alley or in an Escape Room. The options are manifold.

“The goal is to strengthen the students’ long-term ties to our OWL region,” says Frank Igelbrinck. So far, over 2,000 students have been supported by the programme. In the academic year 2019/2020, there were around 450 students and there is still room to go up! Prof. Dr. Jürgen Krahl, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, emphasises: “The possibilities offered by the Deutschlandstipendium allow us to support even more scholarship holders than have been supported so far. All we need are sponsors who are willing to become part of the Studienfonds OWL Foundation.”

The BILSTER BERG is currently supporting a scholarship holder from the field of marketing. Frank Igelbrinck is certain: “The OWL study funds offer great added value for our region. In times of a shortage of skilled workers, especially in rural areas, this is an opportunity to strengthen the bond between qualified employees and OWL at an early stage. Not only we benefit from this, but all companies in the area. That’s why I can only recommend that you participate and become a sponsor!”

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