Quality strategy in study and teaching

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) defines research and teaching as challenges which are equal in rank. It regards itself as called upon to perform not only due to the growing national and international competition amongst universities, but rather more it avows itself in principle to the ideal formulated by Wilhelm von Humboldt of the unity of research and teaching – formulated in today’s words as a didactically led transfer of knowledge from empirically and methodically verified research to the learning individual, whom study enables to develop a critical faculty of judgement and to assume social responsibility.

Teaching at HHU is characterized by personal supervision which focuses on the needs of individual students. It is our declared objective to awaken and encourage talents through systematically organized and wide-ranging academic course offers. Therefore in addition to practice-based, problem-oriented and interdisciplinary curricula, the relaying of key qualifications is highly significant. This is addressed in particular by the wide variety of courses offered in the framework of “General Studies” (Studium Generale). Apart from providing a first-class education, the HHU helps and challenges students in the course of this education to show initiative and find their own direction. All this stands young graduates in good stead when they start their career as well as helping them develop a well-rounded personality.

Quality management in teaching at HHU rests on two corner pillars: on the one hand an offer which makes an immediate impact on study and teaching and on the other hand incentive systems which motivate the lecturers towards more committed and better teaching. Within this overall framework can be found measures such as the accreditation and reaccreditation of all Bachelor and Master courses, the evaluation of the study courses and course modules by the students, as well as surveys amongst graduates on their experience in the employment market. Our “Teaching Support Centre” supplies the teaching staff with university didactics media and, with the help of tuition fees, orientation or introductory course tutorials have been introduced in almost all subjects in recent years.

In order also to raise the significance of teaching in academics’ self-conception, a Teaching Support Fund was installed and valuable prizes for teaching created.

A fundamental element of the teaching concept at the HHU is ultimately the compatibility of career or study and family for the members and dependants of the HHU. Therefore HHU has been carrying the predicate of “Family-friendly University” since 2008. In 2010 it was again awarded the TOTAL E-QUALITY predicate for its personnel policy which centres on equal opportunity. For us, this title is both an acknowledgement and an incentive!

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