The presidents and rectors of Germany’s largest technical universities (TU9) have demanded a national digital pact for teaching. The first draft from the state ministers of science proposes 500 million euros. This is supported by the TU9 alliance.
The TU9 universities want to use the experiences from the summer semester 2020, which were strongly influenced by corona pandemic, as an opportunity the change teaching and learning at university. It is important to perpetuate the positive experiences of digital teaching and to find the right mix of digital and on-site teaching. Every format must be given the chance to reach its full potential. This combination will allow more space for interaction, projects and discourse. The university, as the place where we learn, teach, research and organize, will become a central location for lively encounters.
To ensure that universities do not need to divert their stretched resources from other fields, we demand a national "digital pact for teaching at universities", as the state ministers of science call it. But it doesn't exist yet and this is a mistake that must be rectified.
This funding would help to ensure sustainable investment in spatial and technical infrastructure. We need innovative meeting spaces to accommodate new teaching and learning formats, attractive further education offers, and codes for communicating digitally with one another, and a strong university didactic. We need adjusted mobility concepts and new ideas for the easy use of teaching formats at other universities. The combination of on-site and digital teaching would give students and lecturers more freedom to organize their study program and teaching more flexibly.
There is currently a strong alliance of supporters of traditional and extensive on-site teaching. The TU9 does not intend to replace one format with the other, it wants to combine on-site teaching with digital teaching and develop these formats further. This is why we need state funding to develop our universities as pioneering educational institutions with a modern digital infrastructure, adequate spatial concepts for new teaching formats, a modern university didactic and an innovative enrolment system that makes it possible to study from different locations.
It is time for politicians to act. The first draft of the digital pact proposed 500 million euros to be invested by the government. We strongly support this proposal!
About the TU9:
TU9 is an alliance of Germany's leading technical universities: RWTH Aachen, Technical University Berlin, Technical University Braunschweig, Technical University Darmstadt, Technical University Dresden, Leibniz University Hannover, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Technical University Munich, and the University of Stuttgart.
The TU9 universities are characterized by tradition, excellence and innovation. Founded in the industrial age, these universities are still an important part of ensuring technological advancement in Germany. They enjoy an outstanding international reputation as renowned research and teaching institutions that promote the transfer of knowledge between university teaching and practical experience. Five TU9 universities are also universities of excellence. They provide an excellent education for the next generation of scientists, business leaders and managers and also take on social responsibilities. Approximately 280,000 students are enrolled at the TU9 universities. TU9 universities boast top-class international networks and diverse cooperative projects with business partners. Germany is a science and innovation hub, and these universities are a fundamental part of this.