| Staatswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, International, Personalia, Studium

Fellowships: Three Brandt School students become "change agents"

As part of their joint funding programme "DigitalChangeMaker Accelerator", the "Stifterverband" and the Reinhard Frank Foundation have awarded fellowships for the second time to student projects that aim to help shape the digital transformation at universities. The project "WriteWise: Transforming Higher Education Research with AI Tools" by Paulina Denhí Gómez Escalona, Linda Cacéres Leal and Shreesh Karmarkar, students of the Master's programme of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt.

Paulina Denhí Gómez Escalona, Linda Cacéres Leal and Shreesh Karmarkar (photo: private)

The three master students know: "Obtaining a master degree is a challenge. You have to do an incredible amount of reading, research, writing, correcting and also repeat all of that all the time. As international students, we also have to do all this in a language other than our mother tongue. Many fellow students feel the same way and that's why we want to give pupils and students AI tools with our project 'WriteWise'. It makes it easier for them to research literature, remove language barriers through writing and grammar checks and promote the development of their individual skills through digital learning."

Their project idea arose last summer semester from the Digital Learning Lab, a programme offered by the Brandt School that aimed to increase students' digital skills. Dr Hasnain Bokhari, who initiated the "Digital Learning Lab", remembers: "When I saw the call for proposals from the 'Stifterverband' for the Change Maker project, I immediately encouraged the students and supported them in developing a project proposal. The fact that Paulina, Linda and Shreesh were able to immediately incorporate the experience gained in the 'Digital Learning Lab' into the project is a great thing."

The fellowships come with financial support of 1,200 euros per group, which can be used flexibly. In addition, the fellows include non-material support in the form of workshops, (peer) coaching, qualification materials and access to networks and collaborations. This is intended to systematically empower them as so-called "change agents" and support them in implementing their own change projects. They have just started the four-month funding period with a joint kick-off in Berlin. The "Stifterverband" emphasises: "The selected fellows are all distinguished by their commitment and motivation to actively shape higher education and to drive change at their universities (and beyond) through their project. The fellows' projects are designed to have a lasting impact in higher education institutions and represent an open knowledge-sharing and participatory culture."

Congratulations to Paulina, Linda and Shreesh on their success!