This year, the „Deutschlandstipendien“ and SRH scholarships at the SRH University Heidelberg went to a total of 28 students who are committed to helping people in Germany and around the world. John Iwueke is one of them.
When John Iwueke got off the plane at Frankfurt Airport in early September 2019, late summer prevailed in Germany – but John immediately froze and put on his brand-new winter jacket. „I thought it was cold back then – but now it’s freezing“, says Iwueke today, almost three months later. Iwueke is one of 18 students at the SRH University in Heidelberg who received the Deutschlandstipendium this year. Funded with 300 euros per month for an entire year, he is studying in the new master’s programme „Water Technology“. He studies to make the world a little better.
„Of course you’ll notice signs of the climate change here in Germany, too – but what the ruthless behavior of people really means can be felt much more clearly in Africa“, says Iwueke. He speaks English, but already knows a few words of German and wants to improve it further in the coming months. Iwueke already lived in several African countries; his mother worked for an organisation and moved several times with her children. In addition to Nigeria, John Iwueke also lived in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda – and is still shocked at how little people there know about what their behaviour does to the environment. In large cities, smog bells often hung in the sky; when it rained, black drops fell to the ground. „No one thinks about where it comes from or what it means. We have to change that.“ After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering in Uganda, Iwueke consciously decided to take a Master’s degree in Europe and quickly found the ideal course with Water Technology: „Water shortage is a real problem in my home country. That’s why we need the knowledge and technologies from Germany.“
The Deutschlandstipendium, half of which is funded by the state and the other half by ProMinent, is a valuable support for him. He would also like to do his doctorate in Germany before returning to Africa. „We have to do something there to achieve an effect worldwide“, says Iwueke. „That means investing in education and implementing long-term, sustainable projects.“ That is his goal.
„I am always fascinated and moved by how much and in what varied way our students get involved,“ says Prof. Dr. Carolin Sutter, Vice Rector for Studies and Continuing Education at the SRH University Heidelberg, when awarding the scholarships. In addition to international students, several German students, such as Thea Konrad, who is currently studying media and communications management, also received a Deutschlandstipendium. In addition to her bachelor’s degree, she is also involved in a nursing home for the elderly, where she shows the residents foreign countries with VR glasses purchased at her own expense. Wilma Gießen, who is working towards her master’s degree in business and company law, uses her free time as a mentor for young people – she received the SRH scholarship, which will support her by financing the amount of her tuition fees.