The presidents and rectors of Germany’s major Technical Universities (TU9) have called for a national digital pact for higher education. An initial draft released collectively by the German state ministers of science includes 500 million euros in funding, a demand echoed by the TU9 alliance.
Germany’s TU9 universities , including the Technical University of Munich (TUM), want to use the experience gained handling the impact of the Corona pandemic during this summer semester as an opportunity to revitalize teaching and learning. According to TU9, the goal is to consolidate positive experiences with digital teaching and to find the ideal combination of digital formats and on-campus classes, leveraging the strengths of each format. This combination creates significantly more room for interaction, projects and discourse. TU9 adds that the university, as the center of learning, teaching and research, is becoming more than ever a center of lively interaction and diverse encounters.
In order to keep the universities from diverting already strained resources from other areas of development, the TU9 is demanding a national digital pact for higher education, as formulated by the ministers of science in the German states, providing for 500 million euros in federal funding. The TU9 alliance thus joins the ministers in calling for this support.
The pact is to ensure permanent investments in spatial and technical infrastructure, fostering innovative spaces for encountering new teaching and learning formats, attractive continuing education as well as development of codes of conduct for digital interactions and strong university didactics. Furthermore, modified mobility concepts and new ideas for easy access to the courses offered by other universities are required. Combining on-campus and complementary digital teaching formats would give both students and teachers new freedoms and enable more flexible organization of both studies and curricula.