In winter semester 2021/22, a total of 46 students who met the eligibility criteria submitted applications for a high achievers’ scholarship. As is the case every semester, most of them are studying for degrees in the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. Thanks to the additional funds available via the DAAD’s STIBET programme, we have been able this semester, for the first time, to award a scholarship to all eligible applicants. To qualify for the funding, students had to provide evidence of a current grade average of 2.2 or better, be on target to complete their degrees within the standard duration, and, if they were applying for the first time, submit two letters of recommendation from members of academic staff.
On 25 November 2021, students received their scholarship certificates at a ceremony on the Berliner Tor campus, with Peter Wulf, HAW Hamburg’s Vice-President for International Affairs, in attendance. The scholarship recipients, 38 Bachelor’s and 8 Master’s degree students, come from a total of 24 different countries; Vietnam is the country of origin of 15 of our awardees, and therefore the most frequently represented, followed by Indonesia (6) and Egypt (3). Once again, the Information Engineering degree course stood out, with 13 of the scholarship holders enrolled in this programme.
As in previous semesters, the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science is the academic home of many of the students with the strongest performances. Gaining the highest total number of points in the award process, and with a current grade average of 0.9, Vitalii Indikov from Ukraine (fifth semester, Information Engineering), who has now received the scholarship for the third consecutive semester, was the top performer overall. In the Faculty’s German-language degree courses, Quizhu Lu from China (third semester, Applied Computer Science) and Jhateensing Ramchurn from Mauritius (third semester, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology), both first-time awardees, led the way in terms of achievements, each with a current grade average of 1.2.
Another outstanding international student is Duc Thinh Nguyen from Vietnam (third semester, Media Technology), who joined HAW Hamburg during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. ‘Professor Bessenrodt-Weberpals has been a brilliant support to me,’ he told us. She recommended he apply for the scholarship and wrote him an impressive letter of support. What’s the secret of his success? ‘I’ve tried to focus well in the lectures so I don’t end up stressed before the exams.’ His sensible approach has evidently paid off.
Another student from Vietnam has been excelling academically in the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences. Trang Nguyen, engaged in the Bachelor’s degree course in Logistics/Business Studies, has received the scholarship for the first time. What was it like for her to commence her degree during Covid? ‘I have to admit that I didn’t find it easy to settle in and get started. Luckily, I was able to get into the right frame of mind quickly, thanks above all to HAW Hamburg’s prompt and well-structured switch to online teaching formats.’ She feels the scholarship is a big boost to her confidence and motivates her to keep making progress in her studies and developing towards a future career in logistics.
Of the eight scholarship holders studying for Master’s degrees, five are enrolled in courses in the Faculty of Life Sciences, studying on the Bergedorf campus. One of them is Martha Gilbert from the US (third semester, Health Sciences), who found she was able to get into a good routine when studying online. She told us: ‘Zoom helped me and my fellow students to stay in touch despite the need to do distance learning. Our professors were also very communicative and set up Zoom “office” hours. The scholarship gives me the freedom to keep focusing on my degree and my Master thesis, which I will be working on soon.’
Adi Nugroho from Indonesia (second semester, Production Technology and Management) is full of praise for the supportive atmosphere among his fellow Master’s students. ‘Thanks to our WhatsApp-group and various group work tasks, I’ve managed to get to know a lot of the other students. We’ve talked, shared our experiences and given one another support. That definitely helped me a lot at the beginning of my course.’ Rather than considering the Covid pandemic an obstacle on his path, he sees it as a challenge for his studies that he had to tackle and overcome.
This semester, as well as awarding scholarships to high achievers, we have recognised two students’ outstanding commitment to supporting others in the spirit of an international campus. The scholarships they have received, funded by the DAAD, go to international students with good grades who are involved in voluntary student groups or initiatives related to international matters or have put their energies into supporting the various intercultural formats and activities run by the International Office.
One of these students is Thi Thanh Hoa Nguyen from Vietnam (sixth semester, Bachelor in Applied Computer Science), who has gained a variety of experiences in AIESEC, the largest international student organisation, since becoming involved in 2020, and was elected Local Committee President (LCP) within the organisation last semester. She is also an active participant in HAW Hamburg’s language tandem scheme.
Sita Aryal from Nepal (third semester, Master in Health Sciences) is another international student dedicated to supporting others. She was a great help to the International Office in running its International Week in April 2021. Also a language tandem participant, she is keen to carry on giving her energy and enthusiasm to International Office activities. In this way, she is helping HAW Hamburg sustain and advance its international character and promoting intercultural dialogue on campus.
We would like to congratulate all our awardees on their achievements and wish them all the best for the remainder of their studies.
If you would like to find out more about the International Office’s scholarships for international students, please visit our website. The next deadline for applications is 30 March 2022.
Authors: Hannah Klotz & Teresa Schaubs