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University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 075/2021, 17 June 2021

Two Bayreuthers among Bavaria’s top students: Sarina Spiegel and Friederike Schneid admitted to Bavarian Elite Academy

At the end of each summer semester, hundreds of the best students from Bavarian universities and colleges apply for a scholarship from the Bavarian Elite Academy (BEA) foundation. Among the 40 young people who made it into the 23rd year group are Bayreuth students Sarina Spiegel and Friederike Schneid. Their demanding supplementary study programme starts on 23 August 2021, and is designed to mould scholarship holders into responsible leaders.

The Bayreuth students Sarina Spiegel and Friederike Schneid were among the approximately 1,300 students from Bavarian universities and colleges who applied for a BEA scholarship at the end of the 2020 summer semester. The two had to go through an elaborate selection process and made it: they were accepted into the 23rd BEA year group!


Sarina Spiegel is 23 years old, comes from Bonn and has been studying International Economics and Development (IWE) for six semesters at the University of Bayreuth. “The reason why I am studying IWE? I want to understand the rules of our economic system”, Sarina Spiegel explains.

“Besides my studies, I have also tried out a lot of other things, including helping to set up the university group “Studieren ohne Grenzen e.V.” (Students Without Borders). In 2020, I co-founded the start-up “Mundvoll” (Mouthful). Here, people are introduced to vegan nutrition in an uncomplicated way.” Until recently, Sarina Spiegel was a student assistant at the Bayreuth Economics 5 research group, Institutional Economics, and still is at the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. “The startup mentality and “just do it” mentality encapsulate my volunteer work at Project Together.” This non-profit organisation under the auspices of the Federal Chancellery is a trailblazer for social progress – and I want to help make a difference from the bottom-up.”

When Sarina Spiegel is not pursuing her main occupation, Zoom, she can be found at the piano (she has been playing with the University Big Band since her 3rd semester), at the gym, playing spikeball in Bayreuth’s courtyard garden or, more recently, on horseback. “I applied to BEA because I am convinced that I will meet people there who have great social ambition, and I find the combination of leadership, responsibility and ethics very worthwhile.”


Friederike (Charlotte) Schneid is 21 years old, comes from the Stuttgart region and is studying Philosophy & Economics (P&E) in her 6th bachelor’s semester at the University of Bayreuth. She is a working student at a Hamburg-based AI-based software development company and a research assistant at the Entrepreneurship & Digital Business Models research group at the University of Bayreuth.

In an honorary capacity, Friederike Schneid is involved with the Bayreuth mountain rescue service and on the board of the P&E support association, where she and a fellow student set up the P&E section of the podcast “Beyond Bayreuth”. In terms of content, her focus is on the interface between ethics and IT: “Shaping the world positively with digital technologies is my dream”, says the student. With the help of the BEA, she is striving to get a good deal closer to this goal. Her sponsorship by the Digital Leadership Academy and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation will support her in this endeavour.

“Why did I apply to the BEA? Of course, because the BEA simply combines everything you could wish for: great and inspiring people, a unique support programme with a focus on leadership as well as responsibility, and at the same time incredible opportunities to play a significant role in shaping the future. With my time, I hope to make a positive difference, preferably to society as a whole, as significantly as possible. We have enough problems as it is...”

The 23rd BEA year group

The subjects studied by the 40 new scholarship holders, who come from eleven Bavarian universities and colleges, range from physics and chemistry to business informatics, cultural studies, law and business administration, to philosophy and medicine. Their training will include in-person classes over several weeks in a campus atmosphere during the lecture-free period, personal coaching by mentors from the business world, project work in an interdisciplinary team accompanied by tutors, fireside evenings with interesting personalities, and trips abroad to Brussels and Asia.

The application cycle for the 24th year group

...starts after the summer semester in October 2021. The first step of the elaborate three-stage application process is registration in the online portal of the Bavarian EliteAcademy Foundation, which includes questions about Abitur (A-levels) grades and subjects, studies, current average grade, scholarships, awards, practical experience, language skills, intercultural experience, and special commitment.

The Bavarian Elite Acadey a foundation of the Bavarian business community that works closely with Bavarian universities and universities of applied sciences. The foundation was established in 1998 and since then has supported outstanding students from Bavarian universities and colleges who are willing to perform to prepare them for leadership roles in business and society. The wide variety of subjects studied by the scholarship holders guarantees a form of interdisciplinary and study-related education that is unique in Germany. This includes subjects such as personality development and people management, interdisciplinary and intercultural thinking as well as acting, entrepreneurial thinking, business management and media competence. “Many of our students experience a unique, very valuable time at BEA”, says Dr. Thomas Wellenhofer, Business Administration Director and Board Member of BEA. “Not only do they gain knowledge and experience, but also contacts and relationships with exciting students and leaders from business, politics and academia. After completing their time at the Academy, almost all of them want to continue to belong to and actively shape the inspiring interdisciplinary community of active and former students, lecturers, mentors, friends and supporters.”



Brabara Braun
Bewerbermanagement, Assessment-Center- BEA Community, Hochschulmarketing & Auslandsakademie

Stiftung Bayerische EliteAkademie
Prinzregentenstraße 7
80538 München
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 218 89 08-23


Brigitte Kohlberg

Deputy Press & PR Manager, University Communications

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5357

Office: Room 3.11, Building Central University Administration (ZUV)
Universitätsstraße 30, 95447 Bayreuth