TU Darmstadt is formulating far-reaching goals for its prospective advancement and further development. In the years 2020 to 2022, TU Darmstadt has been enhancing and extending its strategic orientation in important cross-sectional fields in all areas of activity and will continue to do so.

To this end, TU Darmstadt is successively developing partial strategies for the fields of research, academic studies and teaching, transfer, internationalisation, sustainable development and digitisation which combined will result in one global strategy. Based on these strategies, a new guiding principle for TU Darmstadt’s future will emerge.

The Executive Board of TU Darmstadt is developing this strategy concept in close communication with members of the University. In doing so, the Executive Board provides regular briefs and updates, includes all Administrative Bodies in this process, provides opportunities for collaboration and incorporates inputs from the University.

In addition, the strategy process is part of the agreement on objectives between the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK) and TU Darmstadt in line with the Hochschulpakt (higher education pact) 2025.

Tanja Brühl,
President of TU Darmstadt

In a participatory and goal-oriented process, we intend to crystallise what we as TU Darmstadt represent and which guiding vision we follow.

Prof. Dr. Tanja Brühl, Präsidentin der Technischen Universität Darmstadt
Picture: Katrin Binner

Partial strategies

Peter Stephan,
Vice President, Research and Early Careers

“Advancing Science for Transformative Solutions.” This is the guiding principle governing the research strategy of our University. Research at TU Darmstadt is particularly influenced by interdisciplinary work and networking across departments. This way, we contribute significantly to sustainably transforming science, technology, economy and society.

Porträtbild Vizepräsident Professor Dr.-Ing. Peter Stephan, verantwortlich für Forschung und wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs.
Picture: Katrin Binner

The research strategy of TU Darmstadt had been developed in a participatory process in 2020. Starting with an analysis of the special characteristics of research at TU Darmstadt, we formulated our research strategy with the vision of in-depth, excellent and attractive research for both students and scientists in mind. All of this is relevant in transforming and sustainably advancing science, technology, economy and society. To realise this vision, we defined seven goals and various measures.

With three fields of research and starting out with four research topics for each field, we have conceptualised the contextual strength of research of TU Darmstadt anew within the strategy process. Our three fields of research Environment (E+E), Information and Intelligence (I+I) as well as Matter and Materials (M+M) span resonant spaces in which we jointly seek and find answers to important questions of science and society. Within these fields of research, top scientists and their teams propel research forward by way of highly focussed and relevant research topics. These high-profile research topics shape the academic reputation of Technical University of Darmstadt.

Jens Schneider,
Vice President, Research and Early Careers

Our University is to become even more international in every respect. To support this process, we have asked all members of our University community to help develop our internationalisation strategy in a cooperative and participatory way. TU Darmstadt already demonstrates our efficiency and determination to turn strategic considerations into concrete actions by coordinating our Unite! Alliance of European Universities.

Porträtbild Vizepräsident Professor Dr.-Ing. Jens Schneider, verantwortlich für Transfer und Internationalisierung.
Picture: Katrin Binner

In a world that is increasingly interconnected globally, internationalising universities is not an option but a requirement. At TU Darmstadt, we see internationalisation as an instrument for achieving excellence and diversity in all areas of our University and for increasing our competitiveness. To this end, we are going to improve the framework conditions for physical and non-physical mobility of all members of our University community, to strengthen our strategic international partnerships, to develop additional formats of cooperation and to create new ones. We will incorporate functional multilingualism in our language concept and by doing so support the EU’s language policy as a European Technical University within our Unite! Alliance of European Universities. It is the EU’s objective to strengthen Europe’s mutual understanding, diversity and competitiveness. Gaining important insights while studying in multilingual and multicultural teams increases the personal skills and competences of our graduates and contributes significantly to their professional success after completing their academic studies.

Heribert Warzecha,
Vice President, Academic Affairs and Diversity

It is one of the principles of our University to appreciate and respect individuality and the potential of wide-ranging experience gained by our members. To further equal opportunities and to ensure across-the-board protection against discrimination, our University must critically self-reflect, so it can provide the best possible study and work conditions for all members of TU Darmstadt. To achieve this goal, we intend to develop a diversity strategy by way of a University-wide process.

Porträtbild von Vizepräsident Professor Dr. Heribert Warzecha

How do we stay attractive as an institution for a pool of students, teachers and employees that is increasingly diverse? How do we get ready for a future that is diverse and multifaceted? Actively responding to diversity provides the University as an institution with the opportunity to assist people with differing needs, to use the different avenues available, to grow and to improve.

In the Strategy Concept 2020, TU Darmstadt identified diversity as one of the key cross-sectional topics to be worked on in depth, i.e., developing the diversity strategy takes place in coordination with other strategic goals of TU Darmstadt. The idea central to the diversity strategy is that diversity and (gender) equality are imperative to us and that we must promote and support them on all levels.

To implement this on all University levels, TU Darmstadt is developing a diversity strategy in collaboration with all members of the University to reveal needs, to formulate a mutual understanding of diversity and to derive concrete measures as a result. This process will be concluded in December 2022, when the Senate of TU Darmstadt will decide on the final version of the diversity strategy.

Jens Schneider,
Vice President, Transfer and International Affairs

In addition to research and teaching, the so-called Third Mission has become an increasingly important core responsibility of universities. At TU Darmstadt, we are expanding this transfer—traditionally thought of as unidirectional acting—to a partner-centred XChange. To this end, we are developing an effective and diverse ecosystem of innovations with our partners. In a push-and-pull manner, we are shaping our world in many different formats hand-in-hand with our partners to create a place worth living in today and for generations to come.

Porträtbild Vizepräsident Professor Dr.-Ing. Jens Schneider, verantwortlich für Transfer und Internationalisierung.
Picture: Katrin Binner

At our Technical University, the Third Mission has always been one of the most important and significant pillars. The number of innovations developed at TU Darmstadt and the numerous spin-offs established as a result demonstrate this impressively. From our point of view, the challenges and questions that we currently face and need to answer worldwide with increasing urgency, such as climate change and digital transformation, require a rethinking of the still widely practised unidirectional “transfer” of knowledge and technology to a multidirectional XChange in the sense of multilogs. At TU Darmstadt, we take a partner-centred perspective and we collaborate in solidarity with our partners in the world of business, civil society, politics and culture to find pioneering and sustainable solutions together: XChange4Transformation. Our in-house HIGHEST Innovation and Start-up Centre plays a central role in transforming pioneering ideas formed at our University via start-ups into concrete innovations.

Manfred Efinger,
Vice President, Administration and Financial Affairs

With the sustainable development strategy, we strive to build a university that is not only fit for the future but also able to take on our social responsibilities. This includes responsible, ecological and innovative research and training of our students in addition to developing our University sustainably with regard to structural campus developments and sustainable operations.

Porträtbild von Kanzler Dr. Manfred Efinger

Based on the strategy concept, a new guiding principle will emerge step by step which will include a sustainable transformation. The sustainable development strategy’s aim is to heighten the awareness of sustainable development among the members of the University and to intensify the interest and exchange in this matter across the University. As part of the overall strategy, the sustainable development strategy allows for building upon already existing achievements and potentials of sustainable development. In a participatory process, goals and measures for going easy on social, ecological and economic resources are formulated and subsequently implemented in a systematic order. In the long run, the sustainable development strategy will be known by all organisational structures of the University and be the basis for their actions. The Agenda 2030 with its 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) focussing on key problems of a global transformation will provide orientation and a higher-level objective.

Sustainable Development Office (in German)
The “Sustainable Development Compass” report and documentation (in German)

Supporting topics of sustainable development in research and teaching (spheres of activity: teaching, academic studies and professional development in addition to research and science)

Bringing into view and interconnecting sustainable research

Research and teaching (spheres of activity: teaching, academic studies and professional development in addition to research and science)

Projekt EnEff:Stadt Campus Lichtwiese Lichtwiese (spheres of activity: physical environment in addition to research and science)
Living Lab: DELTA – Darmstadt Energy Laboratory for Technologies in Application
Collaborative research project ECHO – energy efficiency and CO2 reduction at institutions of higher education
Study project CO2 balancing

Raising people’s awareness of sustainable development using public relations (sphere of activity: people and their living environment)

“Sustainable lifestyles” awareness week – green lunch break
Bicycle repair stations and “TU was – fahr RAD” bicycle day in the context of “TU meet&move”
Used mobile phone collection drive
Hessian Day of Sustainability – Geocaching
Working in the HONEDA network: Days/week of sustainability

Information on the partial strategy will be added in 2022.

Heribert Warzecha,
Vice President, Academic Affairs and Diversity

With the ‘Grundsätze für Studium und Lehre (principles for use in academic studies and teaching)’, TU Darmstadt has a solid basis for a strategy in the field of academic studies and teaching. It is our responsibility, to adapt these principles to current challenges and issues. On the Day of Teaching 2021, we were able to gather valuable insights. I am looking forward to discussing and reviewing these principles in the year 2022 together with the other members of TU Darmstadt in addition to developing modern framework conditions for good teaching.

Porträtbild von Vizepräsident Professor Dr. Heribert Warzecha

Academic studies and teaching are one of the core responsibilities of our University. TU Darmstadt has already formulated its central ideas regarding academic studies and teaching in 2009 in its “principles for use in academic studies and teaching”. This includes interdisciplinary and research-oriented teaching. Now it becomes necessary to update these principles and to interlock them with the other strategies of TU Darmstadt.

In 2022, these principles will be expanded to include current topics such as digital teaching, the challenges of internationalisation or awareness of student diversity. In addition, the principles will focus even more on the living conditions of the students. It is our goal, to increase the success rate and attractiveness of our degree programmes across disciplines and to turn our lecturers into well-rounded teachers highly qualified in university didactics.

There are well established processes in the field of academic studies and teaching providing room for discussions and decisions. To ensure broad participation of the members of the University in this strategy process, new formats open to all members of the University are being established, in addition to the competent Administrative Bodies, to discuss and review this strategy.

Development process

Patrick Honecker,
Chief Communication Officer

Communication in science is the basis of all democratic decision-making processes. Reputation is raised by professionally communicating information based on evidence.

Porträtbild CCO Dr. Patrick Honecker, verantwortlich für strategische Wissenschaftskommunikation und Markenführung.
Picture: Katrin Binner