Ursula Staudinger took office as rector of the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) on August 18th. The day before, she presented her vision and goals for the university and the extended rectorate at a press conference in Dresden.
According to Staudinger, the main tasks of the new rectorate for the next five years will be based on two major guidelines: On the one hand, she wants to develop and implement the award-winning strategy of excellence “TUD 2028 – Synergy and beyond”. Complementary to this, TUD is to become a global university for the 21st century.
“First and foremost, a global university needs excellent basic and applied research for the 21st century,” explained Staudinger. With a focus on broad interdisciplinarity, this could develop contributions in order to respond to the great challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Staudinger mentioned climate change and demographic change as examples.
Educating global citizens
“The global university of the 21st century is very aware that it is also a social actor,” emphasized Staudinger. Beyond its role as an institution of higher education, it becomes active itself. In addition, the university of the 21st century is designed to train global citizens and to open up to new groups of students. “By that I mean that we look at the entire lifespan – and go beyond the classic age groups of the students.”
According to Staudinger, the TUD of the future will be a real laboratory, which will apply knowledge gained from research to itself and be measured against it. Despite its size with almost 40,000 members, it is crucial that TUD sees itself as a learning organization and can respond flexibly to changes in the requirements of a university. That is why Staudinger wants to significantly increase diversity and integration in the university and thus benefit from a greater variety of perspectives. At the same time, she plans to press ahead with digitization in all areas at full speed in order to gain more degrees of freedom for innovation and research through efficiency gains.
Team spirit and cooperation
In order to be able to successfully implement her goals for TUD, Staudinger has expanded the Rectorate and launched the university culture department, which is unique in Germany. In addition to Staudinger, two other women will belong to the seven-person rectorate. Staudinger values transparent, appreciative and proactive cooperation in the rectorate and with all groups at the university. “I trust in the often- quoted Dresden spirit, of which I have been convinced first-hand in the past few weeks.”