We’ve come a long way in a short time. When the German Federal State of Bremen set up its own university in 1971, the vision shared by the founders was to create an institution of higher education that would address the pressing issues of the day, while vigorously promoting cooperation between the disciplines and systematically integrating research into its teaching and learning activities.
Since then, the University of Bremen has expanded these principles by including gender equality, internationalisation and diversity, as well as the ambition to contribute through its work towards a sustainable and peaceful societal development. Building on these guiding principles and its strengths, in the relatively few years of its existence the University has achieved remarkable growth and development.
Today, our University enjoys a strong reputation, both nationally and internationally. In 2012, it was officially recognised as one out of just eleven Universities of Excellence in Germany; and then, in 2016, it was granted system accreditation. As a result, it has significantly strengthened its scientific profile and secured autonomy in the quality assurance of teaching and research-based learning.
The high demands we place on ourselves and our readiness to move with the times shape the culture of our University. Experience has repeatedly shown us that success is achieved through diversity of views, an open-minded attitude towards unconventional ideas, and willingness on the part of all members of our University to engage in critical dialogue and to work together in exploring new directions. I am well aware of the great dedication of all of the University’s units and groups and am grateful for it.
We have now asked ourselves: What lines of development should we pursue in the ten years ahead, and what course must we set in order to continue achieving our ambitious goals? The ‘Strategy 2018-2028’, which is presented here, builds on our previous achievements and aspirations. It reaffirms the will of the University to continue along the path already embarked upon, reviews and reflects on the University’s actions and activities, and also gives due weight to contemporary social developments.
Our Strategy 2018-2028 describes a status we aspire to in future and is the result of University-wide discussion and consultation. Various communication formats ensured that all groups of the University were brought into the process, and in 2017 the strategy was adopted by the University’s Academic Senate. I wish to thank all those who took part for their excellent proposals and thoughtful reflection on the goals to be pursued by our University in the future.
In the years to come, this strategy will only succeed with the proactive initiative and participation of each and every member of the University. To breathe life into it, all of us – whether in leadership positions, research, teaching, innovation and public engagement, degree programmes, continuing education, technical services, administration or management – must continue to work closely together.
In order to continue along the successful path taken in previous years, we must resolutely pursue our ambition of academic excellence. The environment in which we work, however, will always be characterised to some extent by ambiguities and contradictions. Strategy 2018-2028 is intended to provide direction, to show the way forward, but also to help maintain the necessary latitude and freedom. As President of the University, I bear responsibility for the strategic direction pursued by the University of Bremen. It is reassuring to know that this strategy has come about as a joint effort and enjoys the support of the whole University.
Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter
President of the University and Chairman of the Academic Senate