Bielefeld University is one of the winners of the Exzellente Lehre [excellent teaching] competition. This promotion programme, organized jointly by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft [the business community's innovation agency for the German science system] and the Kultusministerkonferenz [Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder], has awarded the University a prize for its efforts to promote a new culture of studying and teaching. This makes Bielefeld one of six universities to each receive 1 million Euro to help them introduce concepts of excellence that will improve teaching and studying.
The concept Bielefeld University formulated for the competition was called "Towards a new culture of studying and teaching". The Rektorat commissioned professors and students to work together in developing ideas on how to fill out the initially formal reform of the structure of studies through improvements to the quality and content of degree programmes and teaching. The concept takes up these ideas and combines them with the guidelines for reforming the structure of studies issued by the Rektorat, the results of internal university quality assurance and reform project groups, as well as the ideas of student workgroups at Bielefeld University. "Towards a new culture of studying and teaching" focuses not only on active studying but also particularly on studying activities that go beyond formal lectures and seminars.
Four interlinked subprojects are helping to implement this new culture of studying and teaching:
- Time for teaching helps lecturers to develop competence-oriented modules and student-focused teaching formats.
- Research-Oriented Teaching qualifies young academics to engage in teaching based on their own research experience.
- Peer Learning and Peer Tutoring qualifies student peer tutors as experts in collaborative learning and work and helps them to build up a network of student learning projects.
- International Cooperation is an integral part of all programmes. We collaborate with international experts on teaching and learning from, for example, the United States and Scandinavia.