The ‘NEXT STEP niederrhein’ project is aimed at students who are having doubts about their studies or who are playing with the idea of leaving university altogether. The subject, the university or even studying as a form of learning can be generally questioned.


of Bachelor's students drop out without graduating

In their day-to-day life, students quite often doubt their choice to study, and in the best case these doubts help them determine their current position, check their intended path and make a course correction if necessary. This is where ‘NEXT STEP niederrhein’ comes in with its various orientation tools and aids.


because we are always behind you.

because we are always behind you.

The four project objectives


Presentation of perspectives and possibilities in case of study doubts


Individualisation of transitions in case of study doubts


Individual orientation coaching & workshops for students who have doubts about their studies

Breaking taboos

Removing the taboo of study doubts and dropping out of studies

Interested? Project management & contact

The Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences (HSRW) and the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences (HSNR) are jointly responsible for the implementation, planning and management of the project.

Lara Blumenkamp

Hochschule Niederrhein | Coaching




Silke Neuhaus

Silke Neuhaus

Hochschule Rhein-Waal | Coaching & Kooperationen


Tel. +49 2821 80673-9747

Logo Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft NRW

Project funding

NEXT STEP niederrhein’ is funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (Ministry of Culture and Science: Project Study Dropouts NRW – Next Career). It runs from 2017 to the end of 2023 (funding phase I: 2017-2020, funding phase II: 2021-2023).

Since summer 2017, a total of 13 regional projects (covering 20 universities) have been funded by the Ministry through the project ‘Studienausteiger/innen NRW – Next Career’ on the topic of study doubts and study dropouts.

Alliance partners of the support network

The project ‘NEXT STEP niederrhein’ has built up a large alliance network with many alliance partners on the left side of the Lower Rhine.

The goal of this network is to work together on the topic of study doubts in the Lower Rhine region. The aim is to provide advice to those seeking advice in a network, to remove the taboo surrounding the topic of study doubts in society, and to raise awareness of study dropouts in the business world.

Counselling Network Study Doubt – from counsellors for counsellors

The nationwide ‘Counselling Network Study Doubt’ consists of university counsellors who exchange information about the topic ‘Study Doubt and Dropout’ via a newsletter.

The newsletter is a possibility to exchange professional information (e.g. tested material, literature, links, further education) among colleagues. The aim is to professionalize the counseling of students who have doubts about their studies or who drop out and to share good ideas for counseling practice.

Who is the target audience of the newsletter?

The circle of recipients consists of participants in the ‘Next Career’ projects in NRW and other interested parties from all over Germany. In some cases, there is a long practical experience with the counseling of students who have doubts about their studies; in others, there are colleagues on the distribution list who are just familiarizing themselves with this topic.

The newsletter has been published approximately three times a year since 2018.

We would like to expand the circle of authors in the future to make the newsletter a platform for exchange.

Contributions can be submitted at any time!

To the previous newsletter issues