Good academic start in engineering



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So far, universities have only to a limited extent been able to provide first-year students a good start to their studies and, thus, also to enable them to study successfully. For this reason, RWTH Aachen University and Aachen University of Applied Sciences have jointly launched the cooperation project "A Good Start to Engineering Studies" in 2015. The cooperation project of FH and RWTH Aachen University offers first-year students the opportunity to orientate themselves within a so-called zero semester and to get to know the most diverse engineering disciplines at both universities.

In the past, more than 600 prospective students have already taken advantage of the comprehensive orientation opportunities of both universities. It is also possible to enter during the semester directly after the Abitur examinations.


Since the introduction of the project for the Faculty of Civil Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, the project has been coordinated by the teaching and research area Gender and Diversity in Engineering.

In addition, the project was evaluated at the GDI between 2015 and 2017 through intensive social science accompanying research. This was aimed at investigating the effectiveness of individual measures as a holistic concept, identifying unintended effects and reflecting these to the project commission. Only by closely linking the application-oriented perspective with scientifically sound accompanying research could the quality of the project be continuously improved. Above all, a central aspect was the examination of the extent to which a wide variety of people can be addressed through the project and whether gender- and diversity-appropriate framework conditions exist for the introductory phase of studies.

Project Outcome

Building on the successful cooperation project, the independent cooperative study course "Civil Engineering with Orientation Semester" (German acronym: BIOS) was introduced in the summer semester 2020.