TU Darmstadt is formulating far-reaching goals for its prospective advancement and further development. In the years 2020 to 2023, 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 Mission Statement 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

Matthias Oechsner,
Vice President for Research

A summary after two years of living the research strategy shows that TU Darmstadt is on a very good path. Our progress is evidenced by successful excellence cluster outlines and the acquisition of third-party funding. These successes show that we are living and implementing our ambitious goals. The TU spirit is palpable and makes TU Darmstadt a unique research environment - thanks to outstanding scientists, staff and students.

Picture: Klaus Mai

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.

Thomas Walther,
Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs

Science and research at the highest level can only succeed through lively exchange and cooperative cooperation, both near and far. Internationality is therefore a high priority at TU Darmstadt. As a coordinating member of our European University Alliance Unite! we make an active contribution to the European unification process. At the same time, we create sustainable structures that make our global partner network viable and resilient.

Porträt von Professor Thomas Walther
Picture: Klaus Mai

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 have developed TU Darmstadt's first diversity strategy in 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 springtime 2023, when the Senate of TU Darmstadt will decide on the final version of the diversity strategy.

Thomas Walther,
Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs

TU Darmstadt is the place where inspiration becomes innovation. This can be seen quantitatively in the number of our spin-offs and qualitatively in their impact, both of which are impressive. Our top performance in the third mission is not least the result of close and trusting cooperation on an equal footing with excellent partners from science, business, civil society, politics and culture. Our xchange strategy summarizes the ideas behind this and guides our actions. This is how very good becomes better and better.

Porträt von Professor Thomas Walther
Picture: Klaus Mai

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.

Peter Pelz,
Vice President for Digitalisation, Sustainability and Infrastructure

Our vision is: Think ahead, connect, be a role model. Guided by our understanding of sustainability, we do the essentials better - innovatively, transparently, together - in research, teaching, xchange and on campus.

We are shaping a sustainable future!

As TU Darmstadt, we are making a joint contribution to a global society in which the essential needs of us humans and the diversity and value of nature are equally respected. The essential needs were formulated by the United Nations as part of the 2030 Agenda with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), taking into account natural capital, justice and prosperity for all.

Resources are limited, ideas are unlimited

As a technical university, we seek knowledge and transform it into methodological and technological innovations in order to expand society's scope for sustainable development. The pressure for efficiency and innovation for sustainability drives us just as much as our curiosity in the search for knowledge. With our work in research, teaching, xchange and campus, we contribute to the SDGs. We take a holistic view of people, nature and technology. We use our greatest leverage: we educate and promote skills to understand, evaluate and design socio-technical systems in such a way that future generations can also live fulfilled lives in a diverse biosphere.

The sustainability development is currently being drafted. In order to involve the university public in the process, a university-wide commentary on the draft is planned. This will be followed by a town hall meeting to feed back the results. All members of the university will be informed about these participation formats via an Athene Mail.

The digitalization strategy for TU Darmstadt will be drawn up in 2025. We are currently working on establishing a structure for recording digitalization projects from the idea to implementation, prioritizing them and creating synergies.

Heribert Warzecha,
Vice President, Academic Affairs and Diversity

Academic studies and teaching are among the core tasks of our university. With the revision of our "Principles for Studying and Teaching" (Grundsätze für Studium und Lehre), TU Darmstadt has developed a state-of-the-art vision for this important area. With the broad participation of teachers and students, we have adapted our quality goals for study programmes at the TU Darmstadt and increased our ability to handle current challenges. In doing so, we have created right conditions for studying at our university.

Porträtbild von Professor Dr. Heribert Warzecha. Seit 01.01.2020 Vizepräsident für Studium und Lehre sowie Diversität. Leiter der Arbeitsgruppe Plant Biotechnology and Metabolic Engineering am Fachbereich Biologie.
Picture: Katrin Binner

The “Principles for Studying and Teaching”, adopted in November 2022, are the result of a broad discussion at the university in which all status groups actively participated over a period of twelve months.

This document reflects our understanding of teaching and learning. It presents guidelines and quality goals for the design of our study programmes and takes into account current social and technical challenges. This includes considerations on how the digitalisation of studies and teaching should be sensibly designed, how to deal with diversity, how the issue of sustainability should be included in the curricula of our degree programs, how to include broad international experiences when studying at TU Darmstadt as well a statement to promote the health of our student body. Long established profile elements of study at our university, such as research-oriented teaching and interdisciplinarity, have of course been retained.

The principles for studying and teaching formulate quality goals on:

  • outstanding academic performance
  • focus on our students‘ needs
  • personal education and development
  • appreciative interpersonal relationships
  • culture of openness
  • good studiability

In addition to being aimed at students, the principles also focus on the teachers who, as outstanding researchers and didactically competent teaching personalities, are central to achieving the quality goals that have been set.

The principles for studying and teaching adopted in 2022 will be taken into account in the development of Bachelor's, Master's and teaching degree programmes. They also form the basis of the academic continuing education programmes. The principles for studying and teaching are thus part of the quality management of TU Darmstadt and support the implementation of changes.

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