The primary objectives in teaching and research are providing high quality and specialist competence. To achieve thus, the University of Bremen a long time ago introduced internal measures for student evaluation of its teaching, as well as external evaluation and accreditation of its study and research programs. Multifaceted specialist competence and fundamental research form the basis for finding interdisciplinary solutions to problems. Fundamental research and applied research are mutually enhancing in the search for new insights.
At the University of Bremen, science is not confined to an "ivory tower". Rather, it aims at finding concrete and sustainable solutions to societal issues. In its teaching and research, the University of Bremen addresses real-life issues in politics, economy, culture, and society as a whole. Examples of this are: Environmental protection via resource-efficient production processes, the development and use of new technologies in industry and the service sector, providing future-oriented qualifications in academic and continuing education. Regular contact to the practice and community integration belong to our notion of science, and include lectureships for practitioners, cooperation projects with private enterprises, internships and practical semesters for our students.
Teaching staff and students of the University of Bremen are dedicated to the fundamental values of democracy, human rights, and social justice, which in many areas have become topics of teaching and research. They will continue to focus on the consequences of research for the economy, politics, and culture, and how research findings can be used in a sustainable way (e.g. forward-looking technological and economic policymaking, no armaments-related research). The university’s social commitment begins in the region, i.e. a firm commitment to the sustainable development of the State of Bremen. It also stretches to issues of social justice in general and underdevelopment (North-South divide).
Technical, social, ecological, and cultural issues are multifaceted and often in many ways closely intertwined. They can only be dealt with adequately in cooperation between different disciplines and research institutions. The University of Bremen therefore offers a wide spectrum of subjects in the humanities and social sciences as well as in the natural and engineering sciences. It has created interdisciplinary courses of study, research programs as well as research institutions. Project-based courses, learning communication skills, and teamwork foster this interdisciplinary cooperation. Students also become involved in research at an early stage to promote research-based learning.
Science traditionally has a global orientation. In today’s world it is only possible to adequately prepare students for future career fields and to research complex topics across national borders via intensive cooperation with international partners. The University of Bremen is committed to the Bologna Declaration, which aims towards the creation of a European higher education area. It fosters the exchange of students within the frame of international programs and partnerships on all continents of the world. Aspects of internationalization are taken into account when study programs are devised: for example, implementing new forms of study (foreign-language courses, study modules), offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as degree courses with an international orientation and stays abroad.
These international study programs are mostly run in cooperation with partner universities in other countries. The cooperation with Jacobs University Bremen will open up further possibilities for cross-border teaching and research and strengthen Bremen’s position as an academic hub.
Women are often disadvantaged in their careers, this is true for academia also. Therefore, with support from the State of Bremen, the university develops measures and programs designed to promote equal opportunities in research and administration. The University of Bremen has put organizational forms into place which enable continual efforts towards equality of women in teaching and research.
Gender equality is of course not only an issue for universities but for the whole of society. For this reason, questions of gender ratios and equal opportunities are core topics in teaching and research also and are dealt with in cooperation with diverse disciplines.
Our lives and livelihoods are increasingly under threat from pollution of the air and water and the overexploitation of our natural resources (forests, oil and mineral resources, human health). Research needs to develop adequate cross-border and cross-disciplinary solutions for these problems. The University of Bremen is committed to Agenda 21 and its guiding principle of sustainable (environmentally sound) development. Within the frame of multiple projects, our researchers carry out research on resource conservation and sustainable development on regional, national, and international levels (e.g. in the fields of ocean and climate research). Interdisciplinary aspects of environmental issues are also an integral topic of academic and continuing education.
The University of Bremen itself also contributes to sustainable development: Within the context of an environmental audit, it documents activities in the areas of energy saving, conservation of natural resources via recycling, environmentally-friendly working materials, and behavioral rules: This has already brought some impressive results. The introduction of an environmental management system will strengthen the university’s efforts towards ecological orientation in research, teaching, and learning.