Studying before finishing school
For 10 years, 20 -30 school students per semester have visited the University of Konstanz in the context of the “Schülerstudium”. While still being in school, they can simultaneously try out study subjects and even acquire qualifications they can have credited later on. The project is very popular and it has become clear over the past ten years that initial doubts whether the school students could keep up with the “real” students were completely unfounded. In the opening year of the Schülerstudium, a 9th-grader surprised everybody with the best written exam in a maths lecture. In the course of the years other excellent achievements by school students followed. One of them, who has just finished school and will start studying now, is already writing his bachelor's thesis.
“Although the performance of the young students is impressive, the Schülerstudium is not only for an elite. It is much more a programme that suits many individual needs and the desire to learn”, says Ulrike Leitner, who is responsible for the project at the University of Konstanz. Some of the attendees travel a long way to be able to participate. The young students can opt to hear one lecture per semester, others choose several lectures, and some take courses in different subjects. “The participants can deepen their knowledge of their pet subjects and experience how studying at university works”, explains Ulrike Leitner.
Of course the schools need to be involved in the project, as their students sometimes miss school classes while they are at university. Many schools in the greater Konstanz area consider the Schülerstudium as enrichment for school learning and encourage their students to take part in the university project.