For youth associations and youth initiatives

We want to network with civil society groups that represent the values we stand for at Karlshochschule: Diversity, international cooperation, responsible business, sustainability, gender equality and social justice.

Civic engagement is a matter close to our hearts and we want to support young people who are involved in these groups in their work and offer them development opportunities. This is done by providing academic expertise (e.g. in workshops), human or spatial resources or by organizing joint events.

Together, we want to make a contribution to initiating change processes so that the world becomes a little fairer, more sustainable and more diverse and offers future generations the opportunity to live well. In cooperation with the Merkur University Foundation, these associations offer scholarships for particularly committed young people. During their studies, they can continue their commitment, bring it into the university or even make it part of their course content.

Contact person: Marlene May –

AFS Intercultural Encounters e.V.

The three letters AFS stand for the long history of the “American Field Service” – an organization that originated as a voluntary medical service during the world wars. In 70 years, AFS has become the largest provider of exchange programs in the world. The aim of the organization has remained the same since it was founded in 1948: to give young people the opportunity to get to know other cultures and thus promote tolerance. AFS has found a strong partner in Karlshochschule for this objective. There are many links between the AFS and Karlshochschule and the cooperation has a long tradition – a number of professors, staff and students are involved in the AFS or were participants in AFS programs. The didactics at Karlshochschule have incorporated a variety of intercultural training and education methods from the AFS. The AFS and Karlshochschule jointly organize the Intercultural Summer Academy every year (except during the Corona pandemic), where young people from all over the world learn together and work on topics related to intercultural management and communication.

Karlshochschule is very interested in supporting participants in AFS programs and AFS active participants and offering them a course of study in which they can further develop their intercultural skills. Every year, AFS Interkulturelle Begegnungen, in cooperation with the Merkur Hochschulstiftung, offers scholarships at the Karls for AFS returnees, which are intended to provide special support for young people who are committed to intercultural exchange and diversity.

Bundesvereinigung Kulturelle Kinder- und Jugendbildung e. V. (BKJ) and Voluntary Social Year (FSJ)

Karlshochschule cooperates with a number of publicly funded voluntary service organizations. One of the most important is the Bundesvereinigung Kulturelle Kinder- und Jugendbildung e. V. (BKJ). The BKJ is the central federal agency for the voluntary services for culture and education. Over a period of six to 18 months, volunteers are actively involved in culture and the local community.

Together with the BKJ, we want to support young people who want to make their social and cultural commitment their profession and therefore have a joint scholarship program. For example, young people are always working at Karlshochschule as part of their FSJ Culture program.

But we are also pleased to welcome students who have completed a voluntary service in cultural institutions. If you have a special interest in culture, you are welcome to apply for our Art Lover Scholarship!

Those who have previously completed a FSJ Culture, FSJ Politics, FSJ School, BFD Culture and Education or a Franco-German Voluntary Service in the Voluntary Services Culture and Education have particularly good chances.

Fridays for Future Karlsruhe

The Fridays for Future movement is an astonishing phenomenon in our contemporary history. The student movement has managed to mobilize hundreds of thousands of young people worldwide in a very short space of time (one year has passed since Greta Thunberg’s first protest in front of the Swedish parliament! This is unique in history and can be compared, if at all, with the worldwide protests against the Vietnam War and the associated hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In less than a year, a generation that was generally regarded as politically lethargic has turned out to be one of the most political in recent decades. Karlshochschule sees itself as a university that does not shy away from taking a political stance. We show solidarity with and support activist movements that seek to achieve their goals by peaceful means, while educating people and carrying out political grassroots work. At the same time, we see in the functioning of this grassroots movement, as well as in its content and goals, the social and global political contexts that are the focus of research and teaching at Karlshochschule in its Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities: the motivations, functioning and social impact of civic engagement; its effects on the different levels of politics and, at the level of global politics, the motivation and effectiveness of cooperation between states in international organizations. For these reasons, we have decided to work together with Fridays for Future at a local level. The “Baden-Württemberg Youth Climate Days 2019” were our first joint campaign. In the meantime, an initiative has also been formed within the university that brings the students’ commitment to our university and is committed to more sustainability in everyday university life. One of our international students, Helen Ramos from Guatemala, represented her country at the first UN Youth Climate Summit in New York, which took place on September 21, 2019. For the future, we are planning further joint activities and workshops (in the triangle of Civic Engagement – Politics – International Relations) and offer Fridays for Future and the groups associated with them (e.g. Scientists for Future / Parents for Future) personal, non-material and material support at all times.

Jugendpresse Deutschland e.V.

Jugendpresse Deutschland is an association for young media professionals. It supports young people in learning and professionalizing the craft of journalism while they are still at school. This is done, for example, by supporting the editing of school newspapers, by issuing the youth press card and through various other workshops and seminars, such as the Mobile Media Academy. At the same time, Jugendpresse Deutschland also trains young trainers who instruct and support other young media enthusiasts.

Karlshochschule offers several Bachelor’s degree programs that prepare students for work in the field of journalism. We want to encourage young people to accompany, support or critically question social transformations through reporting in traditional and new media. The cooperation with the youth press aims to support the association with academic know-how in the field of media and communication. The Youth Press Scholarship gives young committed media professionals the opportunity to study for a Bachelor’s degree at Karlshochschule.

Baden-Württemberg State Student Advisory Council

The State Student Advisory Council (LS BR) is the democratically elected representative body for all students and school types in Baden-Württemberg. It is mostly (but not exclusively) made up of class and pupil representatives. The State Student Advisory Council is assigned to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and acts as an official advisory body. It is consulted on important laws and matters affecting the school system. The State Student Advisory Council accompanies the state-wide SMV work and supports the participation and commitment of students through workshops, seminars and the organization of state-wide conferences.

Karlshochschule sees the State Student Advisory Council as an important player in youth work that promotes democratic participation and civic engagement among young people to a high degree and whose members demonstrate an extraordinarily high level of professionalism, commitment and dedication to upholding the values of our democracy. The kick-off for the cooperation with the State Student Advisory Council was the “Change” student climate conference, which took place at Karlshochschule in July 2019 and was organized in cooperation with Fridays for Future. During the conference, an open letter to all stakeholders from the school environment (pupils, teachers, parents, teaching staff) was drawn up, proposing and calling for measures for more climate protection in various subject areas.

The State Student Advisory Council and Karlshochschule are planning further formats in the future to encourage students to get involved in civil society dialog on important contemporary issues. Karlshochschule and the LSBR would like to support pupils who excel through extraordinary commitment in their school environment and give them the opportunity to study at Karlshochschule. We have therefore jointly launched a scholarship program for committed students.

Association of Christian Scouts and Guides (VCP) e.V.

The Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder (VCP) e.V. is the largest Protestant scout association in Germany. However, a wide variety of faiths, beliefs and denominations are represented and welcome in the VCP Scouts.

The Scout Movement and Karlshochschule share a common ethical horizon of social and ecological sustainability and the joy of intercultural exchange. These are best expressed by the well-known quote from the founder of the Scout movement, Lord Robert Baden-Powell: “Try to leave the world a little better than you found it”. Together, Karlshochschule and the VCP want to stand up for the values of tolerance and intercultural understanding, the preservation of the Earth’s habitat and economic fairness. In addition, the knowledge that learning is best achieved through personal experience and that personal development happens through responsibility. The cooperation between Karlshochschule and the VCP is still young, but it has already produced a group of committed scouts who began their studies in the 2019/2020 winter semester. Karlshochschule has the vision of becoming a scout university and is open to scouts, regardless of their affiliation or denomination.

In order to strengthen these values in society, we work with the VCP to support an outstanding scout every year with a scholarship at the Karls.