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Inauguration of the Gutenberg Teaching Committee: Innovative concept for the promotion of teaching22.02.2011 - (idw) Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Gutenberg Teaching Committee will also develop contributions to course structures and study conditions at Mainz University / 3.7 million made available
With the launch of the Gutenberg Teaching Committee (Gutenberg Lehrkolleg, GLK), Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is taking an innovative route in the area of teaching. "The purpose of this Committee is to refine and enhance teaching and academic teaching competence while contributing towards the betterment of course structures and study conditions at JGU," explains Professor Georg Krausch, President of Mainz University. "Designed to act as an expert consultation panel, the Gutenberg Teaching Committee will also play an advisory role with regard to strategic aspects of learning and teaching."
As an organization of experts, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz benefits from the extensive know-how of all of its members who are actively engaged in shaping it. Like the Gutenberg Research College, the Gutenberg Teaching Committee assembles highly qualified personnel of various disciplines; both institutions consider themselves as advisers to the university administration on aspects of strategy and provide targeted support to individual academics and scientists.
"It is one of the core responsibilities of universities to ensure a high standard quality of teaching. Hence, the Gutenberg Teaching Committee is not to be a mere extension of the existing Gutenberg Research College, but, rather, the Committee is intended to be an equivalent organization with which Mainz University is demonstrating that it recognizes the equal importance of both research and teaching. In addition to promoting research, one of the primary objectives of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate is to safeguard and improve the quality of teaching, which is why the Gutenberg Teaching Committee is being financed under the second phase of our Higher Education Pact," emphasizes Rhineland-Palatinate's Minister of Science, Doris Ahnen. A total of 3.7 million will be made available to JGU between 2011 and 2015 (including 415,000 in 2011) for the realization of this project.
With the formation of the Gutenberg Teaching Committee, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is advancing its existing measures to improve teaching. In 2010, for example, JGU won the Rhineland-Palatinate Excellence Award for Study and Teaching for its strategic approach to teaching and its work in further enhancing teaching competence.
The Gutenberg Teaching Committee is one of the core academic institutions of Mainz University. It is under the University Presidents direct administration. In addition to its advisory function, the Gutenberg Teaching Committee may initiate suitable measures to safeguard ongoing improvements to teaching, to the existing academic teaching competence and to course structures at JGU. Particular emphasis will be placed on encouraging the awareness of teaching and learning processes at all levels of the University. These measures will include, among others:
- the creation of appropriate forums and networks within JGU that will, for example, enable the exchange of teaching experience and the development of systematic pedagogic models;
- the support for projects that both improve teaching competence and make innovative contributions towards the development of approaches to teaching;
- the provision of additional grants to encourage young scientists and academics to take up temporary teaching appointments at other institutions of higher education (particularly those outside Germany) in order to improve their teaching skills;
- the financing of a maximum sojourn of six months at JGU for external academics and scientists with proven expertise, with the objective of promoting a national and international exchange of information and experience in the field of practical teaching or teaching and learning research.
With its almost 36,000 students from more than 130 countries, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is not only the largest university in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, but it is also one of the largest higher education institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany.
"Our University sees it as its responsibility to 'make individuals fit for the future'," states University President Georg Krausch, and he adds: "We consider the field of teaching to be particularly important in processing the transfer of sustainable knowledge and skills. In order to meet this obligation, Mainz University has been subjecting its teaching commitment to an extensive review over the last 10 years with the aim of developing an integrated teaching strategy. The formation of the Gutenberg Teaching Committee represents another important step in this process."
Members of the Executive Committee of the Gutenberg Teaching Committee
With the approval of the Academic Senate, the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has appointed the members of the Executive Committee of the Gutenberg Teaching Committee. Without exception, they are all members of the academic teaching staff of the University, whose extensive commitment and excellent performance have been recognized in the form of awards (such as the State Teaching Award) and/or outstanding evaluations by their students. Furthermore, students from different academic disciplines who have a record of excellence complete the Executive Committee.
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