With its new mission statement, the University of Bremen is continuing a long tradition. "Social responsibility has been the fundamental guiding principle of the University of Bremen since its foundation," emphasized President Jutta Günther. "For us, this means acting in a sustainable and climate-friendly way. We are committed to our shared responsibility for the social and ecological changes needed worldwide, for democracy, diversity, and justice."
A New Mission Statement for the Issues of the Future
The revision of the 20- year-old mission statement has partly become necessary due to the importance of climate justice: "The world is changing. This must also be reflected in our mission statement," the President is convinced and clarified: "The focus on this topic is by no means intended to limit academic creativity, but arises from our mission to assume social responsibility." It is a holistic interdisciplinary project.
The aim is not only to shed light on the natural sciences, but also on the social, economic, and ecological dimensions of sustainability. "Preserving the natural basis of life is an urgent global challenge. The humanities and social sciences are just as important as the natural and technical sciences when it comes to solving the problem."
The University of Bremen is committed to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and advocates social change that recognizes social and ecological aspects as equally important. This is what the University Executive Board's plan looks like: "We define our goals and transform them into concrete measures. In doing so, we will continue to develop our university structures and support a culture of sustainability within the university."
The Road to the New Mission Statement
The University of Bremen's new mission statement was enthusiastically discussed and formulated with the broad participation of all status groups in a highly constructive process. In April 2022, the Academic Senate set up the Sustainability, Climate Justice, and Climate Neutrality Commission, which carried out essential preparatory work. President Jutta Günther believes that the majority of university members support the text: "I am very happy that, after constructive discussion, we now have a new mission statement that all status groups can identify themselves with."
Mission Statement of the University of Bremen
Social responsibility has been the fundamental guiding principle of the University of Bremen since its establishment. For us, this means acting in a sustainable and climate-friendly manner. We are committed to our shared responsibility for the social and ecological changes needed worldwide, for democracy, diversity, and justice.
In line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, we are dedicated to social change that recognizes the value of social and ecological aspects and that these cannot be offset by economic factors. It is in this spirit that we set our goals and implement specific measures to meet them. We are continuing to develop our university structures to support a culture of sustainability within the university.
Ambitious Research, Teaching, and Learning
As a university, we are committed to the pursuit of truth and knowledge. With a wide range of skills and an open and unbiased approach, we set high standards in addressing subject-specific and interdisciplinary issues. We pursue knowledge and sound solutions by combining foundation and application-oriented research in ways that complement and enrich each other. Academic curiosity and unbiased, self-determined thinking are at the same time motifs for both gaining knowledge and university learning.
At the University of Bremen, we connect research and teaching so that they can benefit from each other. Research-based learning is at the heart of our teaching profile and we use it to motivate and support constructive exchange, critical and unconventional thinking, and collaborative academic work. The social, ecological, and technological challenges of our time are diverse and closely interlinked. By working together with cooperating institutions, we acquire new knowledge, provide impetus in teaching, and develop solutions. As the University of Bremen, we offer a broad range of subject areas and a vibrant combination of specialist work and interdisciplinary cooperation. Our degree programs equip students with subject-specific skills combined with the ability to shift perspectives and communicate across disciplinary boundaries.
Healthy and sustainable conditions for employees in academia, technology, and administration, as well as for students are a prerequisite for achieving our goals. We are therefore constantly improving and developing these conditions in a self-critical and constructive manner.
Assuming Social Responsibility
Academia is a part of the wider community. The University of Bremen is aware of its responsibility within said community and towards nature and the environment. We are dedicated to democracy and peace and only pursue civil objectives. Researchers, teaching staff members, and students work in and together with society to find the best possible answers to questions of the future and the pressing problems of our time.
With a broad understanding of knowledge and technology transfer, the university interacts and communicates on a regional, national, and international level. For us, knowledge transfer is always science-based and involves society as a whole.
A sustainable, climate-friendly, and net-zero emissions future requires transnational cooperation and we contribute to this with our internationally networked research and teaching. Our European and international study programs and research cooperations create opportunities to address the challenges of our time in a global framework.
Implementing Equal Opportunities and Combating Discrimination
The diversity of our students and employees, as well as their potential and outlook on life, are a great asset to the university. We recognize that we are a place of work and education where contradictions and tensions exist, which is why we critically examine the power and hierarchical relationships specific to universities. In doing so, we are mindful of the intersectional overlap and simultaneity of various dimensions of diversity. The university is aware that this results in inequalities and conflicts, which we attempt to manage as responsibly as possible. This is why we work on reliable structures, practices, and attitudes that support diversity and are anti-discriminatory. Together, we are creating an inclusive university where we treat each other with respect.
Prof. Dr. Jutta Günther
President of the University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-60011