Project nexus: Tasks and Goals

The German Rectors' Conference (HRK) with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched the project “nexus – Forming Transitions, Promoting Student Success” (2014-2020) in order to help universities with the continued implementation of the European Study Reform.

Project nexus adresses three main challenges shares by many German universities. These are:

„Student Lifecycle“ as a Point of Reference

The project addresses the most important stages in the 'student lifecycle' and aims to facilitate transitions such as: How to improve access to the universities for students with different biographies and backgrounds as well as helping them to succeed?; How can course credits from different universities be recognised in a transparent process; How should academic study be structured to ensure that graduates are successful on the employment market?

A Framework for Implementing Measures in Undergraduate Studies

A framework for implementing measures in undergraduate studies
„Round Tables“: Generic Solutions for Engineering, Economic and Business Sciences, and Healthcare/Medical

Selected groups of experts from the field of engineering, economic and business sciences, and healthcare/medical work with nexus to develop generic solutions. Each discipline hosts a "Round Table", in which problems and potential solutions are explored in greater detail. The Round Tables bring together professors, teachers in HE, educationists and students of each respective discipline. Further experts are consulted where necessary.

Example: Poster "Round table engineering" (PDF, 600KB)

Recognition of Internationally Acquired Course Credits

A fourth round table is concerned with the recognition of course credits. Its main focus is to improve the recognition of qualifications gained at universities abroad. One of its aims will be to develop a user-friendly guideline on the application of the Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC) in universities, along with conducting seminars on the principles and application of the LRC.

Selected Project Results

Opening Conference
As part of a non-public conference in December 2014, the participants of the project's Round Tables discussed existing challenges and came up with  respective objectives and measures for the further development of study programmes. In March 2015, nexus opened the discussion forum for a larger professional audience. The focus of the opening conference, held at the University of Konstanz, was to provide a platform to discuss the possibilities and limits of flexible study programmes. 200 participants – including heads of universities, teachers in HE and students - contributed to the forum with their experiences and thus gave an impetus for both the development and focus of the thematic priorities of the project. (see Post-conference reflections by Lewis Purser, Irish Universities Associations, in Hefte zur Bildungs- und Hochschulforschung 84, pp 83ff) 


First Steps in Higher Education
The focus of the first project phase (2014-2016) was to review the existing measures for study orientation and also for the first steps in Higher Eduation. In the Round Tables these measures were discussed from the viewpoint of each discipline involved. Success factors and approaches for a steady implementation in the study programmes were identified. The results will be presented and published as a joint paper in 2016. 


Recognition: Consulting & Training for Universities
The Round Table „Recognition” has developed a  concept for consulting and training universities. The format is tailored to accommodate the specific needs from participating universities, and includes topics such as legal questions, the practical application of the Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC), and accreditation.

Completed Projects

The HRK has been offering its member universities guidance and support on implementing the European Study Reform for over ten years. The following projects have been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF):  

nexus brochures available in English

Printed editions of the nexus brochures "Committed Universities: innovative models for bachelor degree courses" and "Good Teaching - Fresh Wind in the Sails of German Higher Education" are available again.

You can order a free copy by sending an e-mail to

The brochures also are available for download:

Comitted Universities
(PDF, 83 pages, 7,3 MB).

Good teaching
(PDF, 100 pages, 8 MB)