Who we are, who we help?
The Harvard Scholarship Foundation Germany was created in January 2016 by the five Harvard Clubs in Germany and Harvard alumni to support ambitious and talented high school students, graduate and postgraduate students. The roots of the Harvard Clubs in Germany date back over a hundred years to when the first Harvard alumni organization in Germany was founded in Berlin in 1912. For many decades these clubs have worked independently from one another, fostering excellent transatlantic relations. Despite our different locations in Germany, we share one goal: ensuring that access to top level academic education is no longer dependent on income and social background. Now, through the Harvard Scholarship Foundation, which is administered and coordinated centrally in Berlin, our clubs have united with the purpose of promoting the Harvard educational experience.
In some of the wealthiest, most successful countries in the world, children from families with low-income and little history of educational achievement are still significantly under-represented in higher education. Germany is no exception: Only 20% of children from families with a low level of education make it to university. Financial burden is the reason most often cited as preventing people from studying or dropping out. Unfortunately, students who need financial support the most are also the least likely to apply for scholarships: Only 9% of children in Germany whose parents did not go to university ever receive a scholarship.
It is our mission to change that! We want tomorrow’s thinkers, visionaries and leaders to be able to fulfill their dreams, regardless of the circumstances in which they grew up. We want students, especially those who might otherwise be left behind, to achieve their maximum potential. We want Harvard to be one of the building blocks in the development of these talented young people with a background in Germany.
How do we help?
Our newly founded collaboration allows us to think big and to guarantee the best possible support for future students. We plan to facilitate exchange programs with Harvard, to enable German high school students to take part in summer schools there, to provide scholarships for graduate and postgraduate courses of study, to make book grants available, and to organize events such as talks by Harvard graduates in Germany. We want to make the Harvard experience accessible to as many young exceptional students as possible. In the past, the isolated attempts of the German Harvard Clubs generated only EUR 15,000 worth of scholarships annually. The Harvard community, now united behind this common goal, aims at boosting that number to EUR 250,000 annually by 2020.
We hope that the young Germans we reach out to will be inspired by the electrifying atmosphere of the Harvard campus and that the intellectually vibrant community they find there will be conveyed to their fellow students in Germany.
For many of us, our time at Harvard University was a life-changing experience and we feel privileged to have studied there. Now we want to give something back and are committed to campaigning for opportunities at Harvard University for young people who deserve a bright future.