RWTH Receives Millions in Funding for Teaching and Learning

24/05/2016
Four people talking Andreas Schmitter

Again, RWTH Aachen succeeded in the “Quality Pact for Teaching“ initiative by the German federal and state governments. In the second phase of the initiative, general study conditions and the quality of teaching and learning will be further improved.

RWTH Aachen is able to continue its successful projects in the Quality Pact for Teaching initiative: Over the next four years, the “RWTH 2020 Excellent Teaching” program will receive 16.3 million Euros in funding to further improve supervision and guidance of students and offer more targeted, individualized advising services.

The Institute of Information Management in Mechanical Engineering – IMA – and the Center for Learning and Knowledge Management – ZLW – will receive 3.4 million Euros for their participation in the “Excellent Teaching and Learning in the Engineering Sciences” project, ELLI for short, which has been jointly developed by RWTH Aachen, Ruhr-University Bochum, and TU Dortmund University.

Professor Aloys Krieg, RWTH’s Vice-Rector for Teaching, is pleased with the confirmation of funding: “We at RWTH are very glad about this success, as it indicates that our good work in the past has been recognized. We take it as an incentive to continue our efforts to further enhance teaching and learning.”

As State Secretary Thomas Rachel, who presented the funding certificates to RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg, emphasized, the aim of the initiative is to increase the number of graduates while keeping the quality of education at a high standard. Furthermore, he lauded the University’s so-called Education Labs, which seek to increase school students’ interest in the STEM subjects and encourage them to take up studies in a science, technology, or engineering course of study.

Better Conditions for Study and Improved Quality in Teaching

In implementing the “RWTH 2020 – Excellent Teaching” project, RWTH aims to ensure that 75 percent of students, to whom university studies were recommended, successfully complete their studies. The following measures, which have been already implemented and focus on assisting prospective students with choosing the right course of study, shall be continued: the central Coordination Office of Projects for Pupils, six Pupils’ Labs, and self-assessments in all fields of study all offer guidance and advice on school students’ future university aspirations.

These measures will now be further developed: in order to decrease drop-out rates at early stages of university study, 16 mentoring positions will be filled and additional professorships in four fundamental subjects created; furthermore, there will be mathematics bridge courses available during the entire degree program.

In order to secure the quality of teaching and learning, new methods of teaching will be implemented and evaluated, and further opportunities for the continuing education of instructors will be created. Furthermore, a comprehensive quality in teaching management process shall be in place by 2020.

A finding of past analyses of teaching and learning methods is that there is a strong demand for high-quality blended learning content. As a result, a new service unit for modern, media-supported teaching formats has been established.

ELLI – Joining Forces with Bochum and Dortmund to Optimize Engineering Education

ELLI is an acronym for “Exzellentes Lehren und Lernen in den Ingenieurwissenschaften,“ which translates as “Excellent Teaching and Learning in the Engineering Sciences.” Accordingly, the ELLI project, which has been jointly developed by RWTH Aachen, Ruhr-University Bochum and TU Dortmund University, seeks to further improve the quality of teaching in engineering subjects. Both engineering and pedagogical departments are involved the project, which already developed, implemented and assessed innovative teaching concepts during the first funding phase.

In the second funding phase, ELLI seeks to address the most pressing demands placed on engineering education in the upcoming years, including Industry 4.0 requirements, entrepreneurial thinking and practice, and the use of augmented and virtual teaching worlds. The project has a focus on four core topics: Remote Labs and Virtual Learning Worlds; Globalization; Student Life Cycle, and Entrepreneurship.

Photo

Professor Aloys Krieg, RWTH Vice-Rector for Teaching; Thomas Rachel, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research; RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg; and Professor Sabina Jeschke, Director of the Center for Learning and Knowledge Management (from left), discussed the University's strategy to enhance teaching and learning. Thomas Rachel then presented Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg with the funding certificate.