An educational institution is considered ideal if it can shape the future global citizens to respect and practice equality across gender, class, region, race and the like, besides offering quality education and holistic development. Colegio Peruano Alemán Alexander von Humboldt (German Peruvian College Alexander von Humboldt) is one such institution that is known to impart bilingual, bicultural education, educates for democracy and is an experimental college.
The college attributes its success to teamwork: all committees and individuals right from the cleaning staff to the general director and the school board. We, at The Knowledge Review, had the opportunity to delve deeper into the success of the college. Read on.
Inception and Journey
The Peruvian-German Alexander von Humboldt College (Humboldt College) was originally founded in 1872 in Lima, Peru and is a private, bilingual, bicultural and experimental college. The Federal Republic of Germany financially supports the college and sends teachers from Germany to Peru.
Humboldt College educates currently 1580 students from kindergarten to 11th grade and 12th grade for the Abitur. The Alexander von Humboldt Institute of Private Higher Education (Humboldt Institute), founded in 1983, is also located inside the Humboldt College and offers three Business Administration careers for graduates of the 11th grade.
Humboldt College has two campuses with several college courtyards, playgrounds, two gymnasiums, a modern swimming pool, a new soccer field with tartan track, an auditorium with a capacity of 610 seats, two libraries, two cafeterias, several green areas, and an underground parking lot. For student excursions, Humboldt College also has its own recreational and sports center in the valley of Chaclacayo, which is located about 27 km east of Lima.
Mission, Vision and Core Values
The college is named after Alexander von Humboldt, taking his historical personality as a model for the college by supporting holistic learning in everyday college life. The college promotes multilingualism, educates for democracy, and puts an emphasis on intercultural encounters as well as cross-border exploration
Humboldt College has developed the following goals of:
- promotion of curiosity, the desire for new knowledge, and the joy of learning
- provision of student-oriented challenging lessons using a variety of methodologies
- offering a modern and comprehensive curriculum, based on both the German and the Peruvian education system, enabling interdisciplinary learning
- encouragement of self-discipline and responsible behavior
- raising awareness and concern for the well-being and dignity of each individual
- creating a sense of community and promoting responsibility for the community
- understanding the college as a learning and living community of students, teachers and parents
- developing a true bicultural and international perspective
Within the framework of bicultural education, Humboldt College teaches subjects in both Spanish and German. The students gain deep insights into the rich cultures, social realities, history, and geography of Germany and Peru. The internationality of the education is very important, therefore all students learn English as a compulsory foreign language at a very high level (certificates KET, PET, FCE). More than half of the students also choose French (DELF certificate), which is also carried through to the Abitur. Humboldt College also provides education on a high academic level in mathematics, computer science, and the natural sciences of biology, chemistry, and physics.
Humboldt Institute offers a two-year career for students, who have finished 11th grade, in Professional Business Administration Technician with a focus in Business Management, Business Administration Professional with a focus in Industrial Companies, and Professional International Business Administration Technician. The students receive dedicated preparation, both theoretical and practical in the Humboldt Institute and a company.
The classrooms are equipped for a maximum of 25 students. Modern collections and specialized rooms prepared with the latest technology are available for the students such as fully equipped laboratories for scientific subjects, several computer rooms, a college kitchen, rooms for art and music, as well as several libraries with computers and material in several languages. For performances, there is a small and a medium-sized room as well as the auditorium for large presentations of the different college bands. Here, several theatre and dance performances as well as presentations of the kindergarten classes take place throughout the college year.
Teamwork for Success
The success of Humboldt College is the merit of the expertise and dedication of several different personalities who make up a great team. In addition to the General Director, Mr. Eberhard Heinzel, the college also has a Peruvian Director, Mrs. Gizela Landa. Each division of the college has its head, Mrs. Marion Bittrich for Kindergarten, Mrs. Brigitte Nuyken for Primary College (grades 1 to 4) Mrs. Brigitte Röllig for grades 5 to 8, and Mr. Frank Pelster for grades 9 to Abitur. Mr. Frank Meyer is the Head of Administration and Mr. Alf Buddecke is the Director of the Humboldt Institute. Also, the college is supported by a non-profit college association, headed by Mrs. Ann-Katrin Petersen Ramírez.
Accreditations, Achievements, Accolades, Appreciation
Humboldt College is one of 140 German colleges abroad, sponsored by the German Central Office (ZfA), and since 2012, all of these colleges have passed a rigorous pedagogical quality inspection conducted by the ZfA. In 2015, Humboldt College was again awarded the certificate “Excellent German College Abroad”.
The following year Humboldt College received special recognition for its high quality and innovative trendsetting work with the second prize of the German College Award, recognizing outstanding German educational practices for top-level colleges.
To ensure a holistic education, in addition to the scientific subjects, the students are offered a wide range of courses in the fields of fine arts, music, dance, and theatre. Sport is a compulsory subject for all students, and a wide range of sports activities are also offered to help them improve their individual skills. Humboldt College promotes the development of artistic, musical, and physical expression and fair sportsmanship. Furthermore, the college educates students to be sensitive to ecological issues and focus their attention on global connections. Moreover, it ensures the permeability of different subjects for each other through interdisciplinary teamwork of the teaching staff and enables cross-curricular learning through projects in the classroom, through a wide range of study groups, and the implementation of project weeks.
The success of Humboldt College is based on the achievements and commitment of individuals. Since more than 50 years, Humboldt College also grants students with low economic resources a partial and/or complete scholarship. This program benefits around 25 new students every year and the award also depend on the achievements and conduct of the student.
In the classroom, the students are trained to learn independently and to think critically. Their personal and social development is equally encouraged. A strong sense of belonging to the Humboldt family and the openness and willingness to integrate new students into the community create a pleasant and attractive living environment far beyond the classroom.
A wide range of study groups and a variety of events provide an incentive to develop one’s talents and to let the Humboldt Family share in the success and joy of one’s activities.
A highly qualified teaching staff, helpful and supportive parents, a committed and imaginative student council, an active alumni association, professional administration oriented towards the “customer”, namely the students and parents, and highly motivated staff for the care and maintenance of the facilities ensure a lively Humboldt College and a pleasant living environment in the college.
Counselling for Overall Betterment
Humboldt College offers career counselling to the students by informing them about the possibilities of studying in Peru and Germany and offering all-year-round individual counselling by the career and study advisor. Besides, Humboldt College organizes once a year, a university fair where selected German universities participate in Lima. Furthermore, throughout the year, former students report online to interested students about their work or study experiences.
For personal students counselling Humboldt College offers a “guidance and support system” which is made up of six teams: psychology, individual support, mediation, vocational orientation, and coordination of secondary school. The goal of this guidance and support system is to accompany and support the students during complicated situations of college life. For example, these situations could be conflicts with other classmates or bullying, difficulties in learning, situations in which they feel the need for personal guidance, among others.
As graduates of Humboldt College, the students have very good chances in their professional life, as the excellent and diversified education in the different areas provide a solid basis for their future.
The graduates of Abitur, in addition to applying to a Peruvian university, can apply to German universities. Humboldt College has currently agreements with 13 Peruvian both public and private universities, enabling students to be placed in the university of their choice without taking an entrance exam. The passing grade from the Abitur allows them to enter the desired faculty.
Graduates from Humboldt Institute can choose the diploma required for admission to Universities of Applied Sciences in Germany.
In the future, our college is going to maintain its high educational standards in a strong bicultural context. One of our main characteristics is that our college is a meeting place of two cultures, which is also facilitated by our German Peruvian staff and curriculum. This makes our school a motivating place for learning and personal development, always with the focus on the individuality of our students. In accordance with the trends of our times, our college is further integrating technology tools into the classrooms, increasing student’s engagement but at the same time offering the opportunity of a critical approach to it