University grants scholarship by winning
I have to admit, when I got this message, I thought “Geile Aktion” for the first time: to win a scholarship for a complete distance learning program worth 11.000 euros, who didn't want that? In detail it looks like this:
The International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef • Bonn (IUBH) awards a full scholarship for a postgraduate program in its programs Bachelor in Business Administration or Master in General Management.
As part of a current IUBH PR campaign, participants can win a complete distance learning course. What you have to do for that? Collect most Facebook votes. That raises questions from Sense and nonsense from social media voting to equal opportunities in education.
Whoever gets the most votes wins
From 22. January to the 19. February may be interested in http://www.dein-stipendium.de apply. If you want to win a distance learning program worth over 11.000 euros, put yourself on the table http://www.dein-stipendium.de an applicant profile. By means of a video or photo contribution, participants then explain their motivation for winning the scholarship and put it to the vote.
“Votes” sammeln die Teilnehmer, indem sie Freunde, Familie und Bekannte via Facebook, eMail or Invite contact lists and ask them to vote for them, who gets the most votes, wins. The second and third place winners each receive high-quality technical equipment such as laptops and tablet PCs for mobile learning.
What's behind it?
All important information and the opportunity to participate can be found at http://www.dein-stipendium.de or http://www.iubh-fernstudium.de, Philipp Höllermann, project manager of the distance learning courses at the IUBH, explains the motivation of the competition: “With the 'Your Scholarship' competition, we want to enable the winner to do distance learning without having to worry about the costs. The voting system enables participants to take their future into their own hands. Because whoever can activate most supporters for the vote wins the scholarship. ”
Almost sympathetic I find that the IUBH with its action quite openly shows the absurdity of social media votings: Instead of as a winner, who is (most passive) most Likes gets, here it is quite openly about who manages it most friends and followers to more likes to persuade.
This does not however reward the ability to social communication, which in my opinion is the basic idea of social media, but the ability to market itself.
Perfect self-marketing as a prerequisite for study
One could also criticize that a scholarship can not simply be made dependent on a few Facebook-Likes. However, the ability to market perfectly is an excellent match for the demands placed on the graduates of such courses later in their careers.
Consequently, this selection mechanism is only logical.
Equal opportunities in education?
Proponents of the method could argue that the granting of the scholarship here is more democratic than by decision of a committee - especially since the losers are free to open up further financing channels.
On the other hand, the question is how democratically a scholarship award is based on pure market mechanisms and whether it is possible in this way to assume any equality of opportunity in education.
Unusual PR actions attract attention
Or should such claims not be a paid course of study? And is there any danger that such an example will make school - especially when I think of the many interlinkages between business and universities.
Incidentally, the IUBH is known for such exciting marketing and PR campaigns. because the Fernhochschule calls on students and those who should become, sometimes via Facebook, to suggest new locations. However, the final selection is left to the university ...
Students as customers with a say?
As far as new ideas are concerned, universities tend to belong to the heavier calibres. Students are also to be regarded as customers, but only very gradually. The idea to involve customers in the choice of location is all the more sympathetic - and not unbelievable from a marketing point of view either. Because often students choose their university as it is most practical for them according to location.
This is usually a little different at a distance learning college, but here too many people choose the location of the presence centers. The more so because many students are working and are usually tied to a specific location. This has also been understood by the International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef / Bonn (IUBH) and is now turning the tables:
Distance students are allowed to submit favorite locations
She calls on her distance students and all those interested in distance learning to suggest cities for study centers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. So far, the IUBH has a network of 22 study centers in German-speaking countries, which is to be expanded in 2013
However, suitable study sites should meet a few criteria: a site should not be too close to the existing centers and should have at least 150.000 inhabitants and / or be a center for the surrounding region.
Submit proposals, but not decide
Vorschläge nimmt die IUBH, ganz modern scheinend, auf Facebook oder – für die Facebook-Gegner – in ihrem Forum entgegen und wird diese bei der Planung berücksichtigen. Klingt ja alles sehr Social-Media-Like.
It is a shame, however, that the students and future customers may submit ideas, but they may not then have a say in the implementation. So much customer democracy was probably too "dangerous" for those responsible.
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