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Change of Perspective. Show image information

Change of Perspective.

Photo: Paderborn University

Academic Mission Statement of the University of Paderborn

As the “university for the information society”, the University of Paderborn wants its academic programs to contribute to the formation of self-aware, confident, responsible, and enlightened members of a society that is rapidly changing, both socially and technologically. Graduates from the University of Paderborn should be capable of positioning themselves competently and independently in a modern, information-based society, and of acting responsibly and in an enlightened manner. The university takes the educational mandate of the university system seriously, and is aimed at promoting the development of a modern, humanistic, socially just, and democratic society. The university stands behind an open, tolerant academic atmosphere, which is oriented towards active participation in the community and in wider society.

Research-based and Active Studies

The university views itself as following the tradition of unifying research and academics/teaching. The underlying principle of the university’s academics, the didactic-methodological strategy of “research-based learning”, means that knowledge is acquired in the research process by students actively developing their own questions. Results from cutting-edge research are continually integrated into classes, and teaching is designed with the latest findings in mind. Additionally, students in later phases of study are actively involved in research processes in a variety of formats (e.g. project or research seminars), and are encouraged to view themselves as researches and to test their skills accordingly. In this framework, acquiring knowledge is understood to be a social, discursive process. Knowledge is generated through open-minded thinking, exchanges, and discussions between educators and students, meaning that educators and students together share responsibility for the success of teaching and learning.

Competence-oriented Teaching

Teaching and learning at the University of Paderborn is oriented towards the desired competency profile for graduates. Students acquire specialist technical, methodological, and professional competence in a highly developed didactic-methodical setting that provides the broadest possible support for them. In doing so, they are being equipped for challenging careers while acquiring a competent foundation to prepare them for a process of lifelong learning that is essential in our modern-day information-based society.

Quality Orientation in Academics

The teaching and learning methods at the University of Paderborn are aligned with the technical, conceptual and methodical requirements of a modern and internally connected information-based society. The orientation of our academics towards the latest findings in tertiary didactics research encourages our students to maintain an open attitude towards new sources of knowledge and promotes a knowledge acquisition process in which students are included in the research process early on, and where their learning and the structure of teaching is closely intertwined with that process. Educators at all levels are given active support in further educating and developing their tertiary-level didactic competencies through a variety of offerings. The quality-management system for academics and teaching allows for continual and sustainable quality assurance, as well as further development with regard to several different perspectives, including content, methodology, and organization. Beyond that, the university places a high value on student health and well-being through a variety of measures (such as a “Health Passport”, [Gesundheitspass]), both encouraging students to stay healthy during their studies, as well as promoting the development of a long-term consciousness for the importance of health and healthy behavior.

Internationally Oriented and Regionally Grounded Studies

The University of Paderborn has an excellent international network of both research-based and academic exchange programs, cross-border partnerships, and guest programs, and offers internationally informed degree programs. English-language Master’s programs make the university especially attractive for foreign students. International character and variety are actively encouraged across academic disciplines. At the same time, close ties to and a long history in the North Rhine-Westphalia region offer continual interaction with the cultural and economic institutes in the area. The result is an ideal balance between globalization and localization, and offers students unique possibilities in their personal and professional development.

Innovative Academics

The university offers various possibilities for both educators and students to develop and implement ideas for improving and developing courses and course models. Some examples include the awarding of prizes for teaching and innovation in academics, as well as the yearly Best-Practices Teaching Symposium (Tag der Lehre). The university infrastructure supports the introduction and implementation of innovative ideas for teaching and learning; some examples here include an innovative IT structure, numerous e-learning models, and learning and working spaces to promote co-learning and interpersonal exchange.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Volker Schöppner

Universität Paderborn

Vizepräsident für Studium, Lehre und Qualitätmanagement

Telefon: +49 5251 60-3057

E-Mail: volker.schoeppner(at)

The University for the Information Society