Although - or perhaps because - many courses had to be transferred to the net, the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University of Applied Sciences reports an increase of around 7 percent in the number of first-year students and new enrolments at the start of the summer semester compared to the previous year. In view of the corona-related conditions, the positive trend is remarkable: the summer semester begins five weeks later than originally planned.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the associated security precautions, for the first time, the welcoming ceremony was not held in the large lecture halls of the two university locations, but exclusively online. Rector Dr. Ingeborg Mühldorfer welcomed the students with a video message on the university's internal learning platform, where the study programmes and central service facilities had also uploaded various information materials.
According to the University of Applied Sciences Albstadt-Sigmaringen, there are a total of 355 first-time and new enrolments this summer semester. 235 of them are beginning a Bachelor's programme, 120 a Master's programme. "We are very happy that the demographic development is not yet reflected in a massive decline in the number of first-year students," says Ingeborg Mühldorfer. There has indeed been a slight decline in the number of first-year students from the districts of Zollernalb and Sigmaringen (minus 8 percent compared to the previous year). "We attribute the fact that we are nevertheless recording a plus to our good range of courses and successful national recruitment," says Mühldorfer, explaining the quality certificate that her university thus issues to students who are not from the immediate vicinity.
Not only the welcoming of the students was moved to the Internet: In general, as many courses as possible will be offered this semester in digital formats such as lecture recordings or learning videos. "We are very well equipped for digital teaching," says Ingeborg Mühldorfer. "At the same time, as a university of applied sciences we naturally stand for a strong practical orientation." The university is therefore planning to teach the theoretical contents mainly in the first part of the semester in order to be able to focus more on the practical contents in the second part.