Mission statement: "Excellence in Teaching and Learning at TUM"

What is the hallmark of excellent teaching? Simple as this question sounds, there is no universally valid answer - and among TUM students, academic staff, education specialists, and professors, this subject has sparked innumerable debates. From a series of exploratory workshops, ten guidelines finally emerged that encapsulate TUM's quest for a dynamic culture of teaching and learning. This mission statement aims to provide our teaching staff and students with a frame of reference and sense of orientation; it stands for our shared objective of continually striving to optimize the quality of teaching and learning at TUM.

Preamble

At Technische Universität München (TUM), students are trained in scientific inquiry; for this reason, our academic programs place a special emphasis on the principles of research as well as advances in the sciences. TUM conveys in-depth knowledge in a wide range of fields, including interdisciplinary studies that transcend the boundaries of individual subjects. In this way, TUM strives to equip its graduates for successful careers in the international job market. As part of our multitier academic framework, our bachelor's programs offer a broad academic foundation, while our master's programs provide advanced training in specialized areas.

Joint responsibility

TUM's teaching staff and students are engaged in a joint effort to achieve their educational goals. Students are treated as partners and encouraged to assume responsibility for their studies by means such as course co-design, constructive feedback, and innovative follow-up techniques.

Individuality

Good teaching yields optimum results when it is founded on a lively, open dialogue between teaching staff and students. Since both are heterogeneous groups - the former because of differing personalities and teaching styles, the latter because of distinctive study techniques and varying degrees of prior expertise - teaching methods can never be reduced to rules or checklists. Rather, academic instruction should be seen as a process in which the diversity of all persons involved is valued and utilized to best advantage.

Gender & diversity

In an open society, science and innovation are built on a solid foundation of freedom, democracy, human rights, and transparency. In this context, diversity stands for mutual respect and the integration of all qualified individuals into the scientific community - regardless of their gender, nationality, religion, worldview, disability, age, or sexual orientation. Only in this way can the talents and abilities of every member of society reach their maximum potential. Furthermore, as a technical university, TUM accords a particularly high priority to gender issues arising in all diversity contexts.

 

A sound scientific approach

TUM's academic programs are geared towards scientific research. All members of our teaching staff are involved in research, which enables them to integrate up-to-the-minute findings into their course content on a continual basis.

Effective teaching makes the principles of scientific inquiry tangible and comprehensible - and calls for an assiduous quest for scientific insights, a readiness to take risks, the ability to cope with uncertainty, the capacity for critical analysis, the stamina for in-depth thematic exploration, and due consideration for intellectual property.

Skill- and outcome-based education

At TUM, all teaching and learning is centered around the skill set students are expected to acquire by the time they graduate - which encompasses not only specialized expertise but also extradisciplinary skills. By means of well-crafted instructional units interspersed with self-study phases and examination periods, students can attain these competencies step by step. With a particular view toward strengthening intrinsic motivation - which, after all, is the ultimate catalyst for learning - each teaching unit is designed to show a direct connection to the learning outcomes that have been defined for the respective degree program.

Inspiring instruction, active student involvement

TUM's teaching staff provides students with ample opportunity to offer constructive input that can help shape course content, both within and outside the classroom.

A setting conducive to learning

TUM's academic infrastructure promotes effective teaching and learning by encouraging its students and lecturers to collaborate in the design of degree programs. Furthermore, TUM offers a strong incentive system as well as numerous avenues of recognition for its teaching staff.

Innovation

TUM provides a variety of platforms where its students and lecturers can voice their ideas concerning the optimization of academic content. This strategy has already proven beneficial during a series of projects in which students collaborated closely with teaching staff and the Executive Board on a wide range of issues including the allocation of tuition funds, the conferral of awards for excellence in teaching, and the authorization of sabbaticals.

Internationality

TUM attracts students from all over the world, and we encourage and support study sojourns at various distinguished universities abroad. With its superb global network and its numerous visiting lecturers and international students, TUM offers a thoroughly cosmopolitan academic milieu.

Quality orientation

An academic community that has set its sights on excellence must constantly adapt to changing constellations of teaching staff, students, research findings, and degree program requirements. Toward this end, TUM has established a feedback, evaluation, and discussion system for all stakeholders directly or indirectly involved in university teaching - from degree program coordinators and teaching staff to students and university service center employees.

April 2012

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