'Start with a buddy' orientation mentoring

The diversity-sensitive and cross-faculty orientation mentoring, which was conceived based on the results of a student survey carried out in 2015 – together with valuable information gained from cross-faculty roundtable discussions in the 2015/16 winter semester and the 2016 summer semester within the framework of the funded project "Exzellent beraten" (Advice par excellence) – is aimed at all students starting a Bachelor degree at the Folkwang University of the Arts and is financed by the NRW State Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research to the amount of €383,168 for a period of four years.

The 'Start with a buddy' orientation mentoring consists of four pillars:

1. Buddies as mentors

Students in their 4th study semester (or higher) – so-called buddies – assist and advise the first-semester students during their introductory study phase (peer‐to‐peer format). The buddies, who perform a guiding role within the university, look after the first-semester students in (small) groups and provide them with important tips for a good start to their studies. For example, the buddies inform them in the (small) groups on who their contact partner in the university is for professional advice on questions/problems arising in the introductory study phase. The buddies themselves are also contact partners for issues going beyond the direct university context, including accommodation, temporary work and leisure activities. In a first step, the buddies receive training in diversity sensitivity for their role as mentors. This is followed by the theory-practice transfer. The buddy activity is compensated with assistant semester (SHK) hours in the winter semester.

2. Additional key competence lectures during the introductory study phase

Additional lectures in the Optional Studies portfolio during the introductory study phase are intended to systematically promote basic key competences of the students from the beginning of their studies. The lecture timetable for Optional Studies is available here: Optional Studies   

3. Networks between buddies, first-semester students and the Folkwang community

A variety of activities are offered designed to build networks and promote the interdisciplinary exchange between the new students (and the buddies). Furthermore, a close cooperation with various actors, such as the Student Advisory Service, the study programme coordinators and the General Student Committee (AStA), is intended to support the development of other formats suitable for students for networking into the Folkwang community.

4. Centralisation and preparation of the information material on the introductory study phase

Relevant information on the introductory study phase involving social media is prepared for specific target groups and made available.



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