On 26th November, the “Honours Degree in Digital Technology and Entrepreneurship” programme and its sister programme “Entrepreneurial Pathfinder” were given recognition in the form of the Deutscher Arbeitgeberpreis für Bildung – German employer award for training – in the higher education category. Both of these programmes provide support for students and for doctorate scholars who have entrepreneurial plans, such as to enable them to gain greater depth of knowledge in digital technologies and enterprise, and to put their ideas into practice. Due to the pandemic, the presentation of this €10,000 funding award is being deferred until next year.
“This award represents recognition and encouragement - it is the outcome of a magnificent, transdisciplinary, joint project, in which the students receive specific support in developing and applying creative ideas.”
Professor Carolin Häussler
The “Entrepreneurial Pathfinder” certificate is aimed at students from all faculties at the University of Passau in all areas of study if they are interested in the topics of enterprise and digitalisation and if they wish to deepen their corresponding knowledge. The “Honours Degree in Digital Technology and Entrepreneurship” certificate programme is aimed at undergraduates and/or doctorate scholars who are working on the specific application of a business idea and upon the founding of a company. Study programmes can be completed supplementary to – and in parallel with – the degree and/or doctorate studies already pursued by the student/scholar. Both of these opportunities are promoted by the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts within ZD.B, the Centre for Digitalisation in Bavaria.
This is a particular opportunity for programme participants to acquire problem-solving skills – more important than ever in these Corona pandemic times – this is the conclusion that was reached by the jury for the German employer award. “In any case, problem-solving skills are some of the most valuable characteristics for companies in Germany. Anyone holding these skills can respond rapidly to new situations, will think in an inventive way and will act in a way that reflects their focus on the objective,” commented the Confederation of German Employers´ committee member/jury chairman Dr. Gerhard F. Braun their statement.
The objective of the “Entrepreneurial Pathfinder” certificate is to raise awareness amongst students for the topics of enterprise and digitalisation, and to provide them with inspiration. In order to make it possible for the certificate to retain individual relevance notwithstanding the high diversity of knowledge held by students, “Entrepreneurial Pathfinder” has been designed to be applicable to undergraduate and postgraduate students from all faculties. In this context, students will not be working separately when it comes to major programme sections, but will participate jointly in the events laid on, and will have the opportunity for dialogue across faculty boundaries.
“Honours Degree” certificate
The “Honours Degree in Digital Technology and Entrepreneurship” provides support for students interested in setting up actual companies, and those pursuing a promising digital (or digitally-supported) concept in the form of six modules which are interconnected; the scheme covers a period of nine months. This opportunity has been set up in all four faculties: The modules entitled “Marketing Incubation” (Professor Schumann, Professor Totzek) and “Business Model Incubation” (Professor Häussler) provide coverage of the issues surrounding Market, Value Creation and Value Capture. In the modules entitled “Web and Data Science Prototyping” (Professor Granitzer) and “Psychological Approaches to Prototyping and Testing” (Professor Susanne Mayr), teams are working intensively on specifically project-related exercises. Finally, modules on “Entrepreneurial Negotiation” (Professor Häussler) and “Law Incubation” (Professor Kai von Lewinski) provide the student teams with preparation for day-to-day work in companies.
Undergraduates and postgraduates from all faculties at the University of Passau are cordially invited to submit their application for the “HonoursDegree” programme by 6 January 2021. A registration for the 2-stage application procedure can be submitted individually or by teams. A requirement is that applicants should be correctly enrolled at the University of Passau.
Evidence of correct enrolment must also be presented in order to participate in the "Enterpreneurial Pathfinder" programme. Registration is conducted at the beginning of the semester, via Stud.IP .
And a Digital Technology and Entrepreneurship (DTE) Community has been created, which brings together participants from both programmes, thus promoting their dialogue and joint activities. A further important initiative is the continuous training of lecturers.
Carolin Häussler’s concluding overview was as follows: “Today, we can look back over three years which have been very successful for the programmes, in which innovation has been developed – and challenges have been mastered – by lecturers and by students alike. The DTE programme has successfully developed as a University-wide platform for dialogue between faculties, and consequently in order to promote networked thinking and innovation.” Approximately 150 students from all faculties participate in the certificate programmes each year, whilst between 800 and 1,000 students benefit from the corresponding events. Not only have approximately 60 students already passed their “HonoursDegree”, but these study opportunities have, by now, also given rise to some start-ups.
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Professor Häussler about the Certificate Programme in Digital Technology and Entrepreneurship
Professor Carolin Häussler heads the Certificate Programme in Digital Technology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Passau. The programme offers students the unique opportunity to carry out a digital business idea.