FAU success in national competition for higher-quality teaching
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has reason to celebrate: between 2012 and 2016 the university is to receive around €11.5 million in federal funding to improve teaching quality. The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) announced this decision in the second round of the nation-wide “Teaching Quality Pact” competition to encourage higher-quality teaching. University management won over the competition jury with their proposal for the targeted support of new teaching concepts and the improvement of teaching quality.
“With the funding we hope to improve the high-quality of teaching at FAU even further” says FAU President Prof. Dr. Karl-Dieter Grüske. “Given the fact that FAU has been awarded numerous high-ranking research awards this year, the recent decision by the BMBF reflects the extent to which the university is dedicated to innovation in study and teaching, and the professional expertise of the university’s teaching staff.”
Thanks to the successful proposal, based on a university management initiative and implemented under its leadership, FAU will be able to realise additional projects in three core areas: the orientation phase before starting a course of study, supporting students during their initial semesters and further training for teaching staff and student tutors.
Through these funded measures, FAU intends to focus specifically on what can be problematic phases whilst studying: “We want to provide prospective students with more support in terms of choosing a course of study that matches their interests and talents and establishing better basic conditions for a successful course of study” says Prof. Johanna Haberer, Vice-President for Teaching.
For instance, cross-disciplinary introductory and orientation events in the humanities are to be provided and will also be open to first year students from various courses of study such as linguistics, social sciences and historical science. A further project plans to improve the professional relevance of teacher training and to involve teaching staff in the development of concepts for teaching events.
“The fact that we show a firm interest in the general framework of different individual faculties and disciplines and in their respective disciplinary cultures has played a crucial role in the success of our proposal. The funding will enable us to implement tried and tested teaching models in the most popular subjects as well as in the more niche disciplines on a long-term basis – whilst also generating new impetus for innovation”, says Prof. Johanna Haberer.
Student, Sandra Lechner, who took part in the development of the concept as a member of the speakers’ council and FAU senator, says, “I am delighted with our university’s success. The concept comprises many important measures which will significantly improve the study conditions for all concerned at FAU and which, I hope, will in turn increase overall student satisfaction”.
The Teaching Quality Pact
Through the “Teaching Quality Pact”, academic institutions receive a wide range of effective support to help improve study conditions and teaching quality, support which is determined according to the specific needs of individual institutions. The pact aims to provide support for better university staffing at all levels, training measures for university staff for teaching, support and advice, and measures for the further development of teaching quality and the professionalisation of teaching. In the second selection stage, 169 academic institutions nation-wide submitted proposals, 58 of which were universities.
Further information for the media:
Prof. Johanna Haberer
uni | media service | news No. 320/2011 on 15.12.2011