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TU Berlin

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Mission statement for teaching at TU Berlin

Wednesday, 07. November 2018

Introduction:

This mission statement serves as a permanent inspiration for standards in teaching at TU Berlin, and, as a kind of “constitution”, forms the basis for all regulations, guidelines and strategies governing teaching at our University. All study and examination regulations, curricula and quality management measures for studying and teaching need to reflect the content of this mission statement.

Our educational goals

Expertise, conscientiousness and creativity are hallmarks of all our graduates

Our University is based upon the principle of inclusion, offering the opportunity of an outstanding academic education to all students with the right qualifications and skills, who share our University’s goals. The quality of teaching at TU Berlin enables students to meet the technological shift and its impacts on society with creativity, a sense of responsibility and a high level of expertise. Students learn the methodological and scientific fundamentals of their subject areas and receive a technically rigorous academic education based on the latest scientific developments. At the same time, they will be equipped with the skills to think critically and analytically, both within their own subject areas and beyond, and to develop their powers of judgment. Students also learn to place their knowledge and actions within a broader historical, social, and cultural context and to reflect on the ethical consequences of their actions.

Academic education at TU Berlin

We see the rigorous scientific education of our students intertwined with their personality development to develop as individuals

Our concept of education is based on the ideas of Humanism and The Enlightenment. Academic training provides scientific education, while enabling students to develop as individuals. This aspiration found expression in TU Berlin’s historical mission statement of 1946: “...its [TU Berlin’s] first aim is to produce a whole human being, capable of taking his place responsibly beside his fellows in a community...”. Our students develop values such as academic integrity, a sense of responsibility, autonomy, tolerance, respect for other views and beliefs, and an openness to new ideas. Our specific range of subjects from engineering, natural and planning sciences as well as humanities and social sciences offers students a range of interdisciplinary options and supports our educational objectives.

Our aspirations for teachers and students

We encourage and support autonomous learning and a high quality of teaching

Our teaching aims to instill an interest in interdisciplinary issues as well as an enthusiasm for a student’s particular subject area. Our wide range of teaching and learning formats enables us to encourage the development of a diverse range of skills, while reflecting the heterogeneity and diversity of our students themselves. Teaching at TU Berlin encourages and supports autonomous learning.  Studying demands a strong desire to learn, a high degree of autonomy regarding the learning process, curiosity, a thirst for knowledge as well as an epistemological interest. Our teachers exhibit a high level of commitment to their profession and a desire to improve their teaching qualifications and skills. We offer a wide range of continuing education programs for teachers and students. Students and teachers alike value and seek to uphold the freedom of academia, research and teaching. We also operate an incentive policy to reward outstanding achievements in teaching. Our quality management system for teaching aims at achieving continuous improvement, seeking the effective implementation of the goals we have set ourselves for education, including students’ completion of degree programs in a timely manner, as well as a continuous improvement in the quality of teaching. We further ensure that students are involved in the quality assurance process. 

Project-based learning and teaching

Our students have the opportunity to showcase their research and organizational interests in project-based teaching formats

Project-based teaching and learning formats are a defining feature of teaching at TU Berlin and are firmly established within our degree programs. Often interdisciplinary in scope and requiring a high level of autonomy, these formats enable students to learn to address practically oriented themes, working independently on projects with a focus on teamwork and professionalism, as well as to develop their own research questions within the learning process. The students’ own research and organizational interests are encouraged and focused on as motivational factors within the learning process.

Research-based learning and labor market qualification

We provide our students with an excellent academic foundation and research-based teaching to prepare them for a career either within academia or for the external labor market

Students at TU Berlin engage with interdisciplinary research themes early in their academic lives. Research-based learning at TU Berlin also means developing an understanding of learning as an individual process, as well as learning and applying the fundamentals of good academic practice and academic integrity. Students with an interest in research can take advantage of teaching and learning formats which enable them to become involved in current research projects and to gain an insight into top-level research. Our programs also provide support for students with entrepreneurial interests. Requirement profiles for our graduates are constantly undergoing change. The acquisition of the fundamentals of current scientific and methodological work within the various subject areas enables our graduates to quickly familiarize themselves with emerging technologies or new professional fields.

Individual profile building and active participation in University-life

Our students can specialize according to their interests and participate actively in University-life

Our degree programs are designed to enable students to develop their own profiles, thus reflecting the specific interests and affinities of our student body. Building on our undergraduate programs, which tend to be broad in nature, our diverse range of master’s programs allows students to focus on specific subject areas. We also offer certification programs where students can acquire additional qualifications beyond their original subject areas. These certification programs are embedded in the programs for elective and compulsory elective courses. There are numerous opportunities for our students to become actively involved in the life of the University: in project-centered classes and as tutors, in groups involved in academic self-management and University politics, or in student initiatives shaping campus life.

Transition from school to university

We offer beginning students a wide range of support programs to help them at the outset of their studies

The transition from school to university is an important stage for personal development and the choice of subject is a sensitive one. In recognition of this, we provide extensive support to prospective students and beginning students during this transitional phase. A wide-ranging program is available to enable high school students to gain insight into the individual subjects offered at the University. We also offer an orientation program for those young prospective students who are uncertain what to study and if they wish to study. Preparatory courses are offered in the basic sciences for beginning students prior to the start of their actual degree programs to enable them to have the best possible start to their studies and to acquire any missing knowledge they may need for their degrees.

Internationalization

We prepare our students for international career and life contexts

Teaching and studying are based on international contents and take place in an international environment. We prepare our students to succeed in a global professional and private life. TU Berlin is an institution with an international focus and a high proportion of our students comes from outside of Germany. This enables our students to gain international experience and enjoy cultural exchanges even within the home campus in Berlin. We also provide our students with the opportunity to spend time abroad as part of their degree programs. We assure the mandatory flexibility in our curricula and taking the necessary measures in the organization of degree programs as well as by continually developing our exchange programs themselves. We expect our students to have obtained a high level of English proficiency by the start of their studies and provide support to help students achieve this goal.

Diversity and equality of opportunity

We support diversity in our student body and among our teaching staff and take measures to ensure equal opportunities

The diversity of our students and teachers needs to reflect the diversity of society. We value and respect diversity and actively strive to achieve equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination. For diversity to flourish, equal opportunities have to be available to everyone at the University, regardless of gender, age, social or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, able-bodiedness or belief system. We provide a number of measures and programs to create the right conditions for diversity to become one of the guiding principles of our University.

Sustainability

Sustainable development is an integral part of our teaching program

Science must play its part in safeguarding decent living conditions for future generations. During their studies, students acquire the necessary knowledge, qualifications and skills to contribute to sustainable development. They are able to recognize the impact of their actions on sustainability and are thus in a position to make responsible decisions. Our teaching staff reflects the United Nations’ goals for sustainable development in their teaching programs and integrates sustainability-as a mandatory crosscutting theme in their courses.

Digital transition is changing teaching and studying

Digitally supported teaching complements our classroom teaching and facilitates a flexible approach to learning

We support digital learning and provide pedagogical guidance. Our digital teaching and learning formats provide flexibility and help to individualize the learning process. Digitally supported learning is a useful complement to classroom teaching and reflects current developments, but is not a replacement for classroom teaching. For us, a personal dialogue between teacher and student and between students still forms the basis of academic education, with the campus as physical location for these exchanges. It is very important to us to equip our students with the necessary skills to provide them with the best possible preparation for a digital life and workplace. We use digital technologies to help make the organization of administrative issues relating to studying and teaching convenient and efficient.

Studying, teaching and life on campus

The TU Berlin campus is a place of inclusive social encounter in an atmosphere of respect

TU Berlin is not only a place of study, research and teaching, it also a place for social encounter. After all, learning about a subject and personal development also take place beyond the lecture hall. We have a wide range of sport and cultural programs, numerous canteens and cafeterias, student cafés, as well as green spaces and learning spaces, all helping to make our campus the focus of the lives of our students and teachers in the heart of Berlin. All members of TU Berlin treat each other with respect and esteem. Our educational ideal and the associated values of tolerance, respect and a sense of responsibility not only serve to shape teaching at TU Berlin, but also form the basis for a harmonious coexistence on our campus.

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