/ Scholarship programme highlights 2020

Welcome to Berlin: Professor Karl-Heinz Paqué welcomes the selection committee members andconfidants at the annual conference.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our scholarship recipients’ university lives upside down. They have had to break off or postpone final examinations, internships and foreign placements. In some cases university institutes, libraries and canteens were closed for weeks on end, making it considerably more difficult for the students to study and work on their theses. However, it did not take long for the study groups and initiatives to introduce digital meet-ups and events, and to develop a range of incredibly creative and dynamic offers that reflected the scholarship holders’ resilience and commitment during the pandemic. The talent scholarship programme enriched the ideological programme with digital workshops on the topic of ‘preparing for a future career’. The FNF’s first digital selection conference was held in August 2020 with over 60 selection committee members and approximately 240 applicants. The students who were awarded scholarships met in April and October for their first digital onboarding events, which gave them the opportunity to learn more about foundation, the ideology it supports and each other. The annual convention was held as a hybrid event in September to allow the election of spokespersons and the academies for 2021. Also in September the international scholarship holders took a trip to Berlin on the theme of ‘German remembrance culture’, where they visited numerous historical sites in Berlin and Potsdam, and considered the historical events that Berlin remembers and how they are commemorated. Now that the scholarship website has been modernised applicants can find detailed information in German and English about the scholarships and apply online.

Freedom in the highest tones: The scholarship holders gave a celebratory concert on 3 October 2020.

Conference for liaison lecturers and members of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom’s selection committee

The liaison lecturers and members of the selection committee convened for their annual conference in Berlin from 12–13 March 2020 to discuss the latest higher education policy developments and get to know the newly appointed colleagues. Dr Thomas Sattelberger, Bundestag MP and FDP parliamentary party spokesperson on the Education, Research and Technology Assessment Committee, talked with the knowledgeable audience of university lecturers about ‘Germany in the international innovation race – the challenges facing universities’. Participants shared their ideas and insights on a range of options for visible and liberal engagement with the higher education sector. Attendance of the ‘14th Speech on Freedom’ by psychologist, author and Islam expert Ahmad Mansour had to be cancelled due to COVID-19-related safety precautions.