University Talk: The New Mission Statement

On January 25, 2024, the "University Talk" event took place at the University of Bremen's Mensa cafeteria. Students and staff were invited to find out about the university's new mission statement and discuss it with each other.

The event, which was chaired by Carolin Bebek from the Theater of Assemblage, focused on the University of Bremen's new mission statement, which was adopted by the Academic Senate in November.

The guests were welcomed by Professor Jutta Günther, who, as president of the university, emphasized the relevance of the mission statement and was delighted at the high level of participation. She also underlined the change in the event format and underscored: "We have deliberately changed the previous 'Rektorat im Gespräch' format to enable more interaction and a lively, dialogue-oriented exchange." The new mission statement was then vividly presented in a staged reading by students from the Theater of Assemblage / Center for Performance Studies, who performed the content of the various focus areas on stage.

The second part of the event was dedicated to the exchange between all participants regarding the new mission statement. Using the fishbowl method, four discussion rounds of ten minutes each were held to highlight various aspects of the statement. In addition to the University Executive Board, experts from various areas and status groups of the university took part and provided input on questions relating to the importance of the mission statement for the university and its diverse fields. In this context, topics such as existing strengths, future challenges, and possible approaches were discussed in depth. All participants were invited to take part in the discussion rounds and contribute their questions or comments.

The first input, presented by President Jutta Günther and Dr. Luzie Schnieders from the Staff Council, explained the need for a new mission statement, as the existing one was no longer up to date and no longer met the new challenges, especially in the area of sustainability. The discussion showed that the integration of the mission statement into the various faculties is a central task in order to ensure a common focus.

The second presentation, which was held by Professor Rita Groß-Hardt, Professor Dagmar Borchers, and Professor Lars Viellechner, focused on the requirements of ambitious learning, teaching, and studying. The participants in the discussion emphasized the importance of teaching that is not only challenging but also accessible. The focus was on promoting problem-solving skills and linking academic study, teaching, and research with the principles of equal opportunities and responsibility.

The third impulse focused on the assumption of social responsibility. Professor Michael Schulz and Professor Jens Falta provided the impetus. The discussion emphasized the need for holistic approaches that focus not only on the results, but also on the process of implementation. Cooperation with organizations that are opposed to the mission statement and the achievement of climate neutrality were discussed.

The fourth and final topic, presented by Ursel Gerdes from the Anti-Discrimination and Conflict Management Office and Anneliese Niehoff, head of the Equal Opportunities Unit, dealt with the issue of equal opportunities and the removal of barriers. The participants in the discussion highlighted the commitment stated in the mission statement and emphasized the growing awareness of the issues of equal opportunities and full accessibility. The challenge lies in actively involving all members of the university and ensuring that no one is left behind.

The event finished with information stands that provided insights into various sustainability-related topics at the university, such as health management, building and campus design, equal opportunities and anti-discrimination, research, and teaching. These offered participants the opportunity to engage in further discussions and find out about specific measures within the framework of the new mission statement.

The University Executive Board plans to offer the new University Talk format on a regular basis, focusing on different topics. The aim is to create a space for questions and discussions between all staff and students and the University Executive Board.


Further Information:



Prof. Dr. Jutta Günther

President of the University of Bremen

Phone: +49 421 218-60011

Participants in the event sit in rows in the canteen and listen with interest.
Intensive talks about the new mission statement: participants discuss opportunities and approaches.