In 2018 our university presented its University Development Plan, describing our strategic goals up to the year 2025 in research, teaching, transfer, and administration as well as in the fields of internationalisation, equality and diversity, and digitisation. This strategy revolves around the motto “The Leipzig Way” and aims at interdisciplinarity and the formation of alliances. It highlights what makes our university unique, sets out the most important instruments and parameters for planning our future development, and is a source of orientation and motivation for members of the University.
When it comes to top-class research and medical expertise, we aspire to be one of the leading institutions of higher learning in Germany. With interdisciplinary collaborative structures and a continually evolving research profile, our academic focus is on complex, forward-looking and socially relevant issues of our time.
In order to attract the best students to our university, we rely on the principle of research-led teaching and cultivate our performance-oriented, internationally connected range of courses in line with the framework established by the Bologna Process. We also actively promote the international mobility of our students.
Besides the generation of knowledge, we also define the transfer of that knowledge as a performance marker that shapes the profile of our university and creates competitive advantages. In dialogue with society, we are striving to bring about a diverse pool of knowledge, motivating our university’s members to participate in transfer activities. We are committed to expanding our internationalisation strategy in research, teaching, transfer and administration, and are making a name for ourselves as an institution with excellent international connections.
As a reputable, equal opportunities and family-friendly employer in a prospering city, our university is a magnet for young international academics, attracting bright minds from all over the world.
We see our university as an outward-looking, social place and at the same time as a learning, agile organisation which, due to formative experiences of transformation and upheaval, is permanently in a position to develop innovative solutions.
Our university’s solution-oriented control and administration processes as well as its robust infrastructures form the necessary basis for outstanding results in research, teaching and transfer.
The Leipzig Way
An integrated programme for research excellence
Our profile is focused on three strategic research fields:
- Changed order in a globalised world
- Intelligent methods and materials
- Sustainable principles for life and health.
Three overarching themes have emerged from the strategic research fields: biodiversity, modern diseases and globalisations. These are bundled in nationally and internationally visible research centres (iCenters) and integrate the humanities and social sciences, the life sciences, medicine and the natural sciences in roughly equal parts.
In opening up new and interdisciplinary fields of research, in the Leipzig Science Network we cooperate closely with the many non-university research institutions which are based in Leipzig as a centre of science, but also with neighbouring institutions of higher education in the Halle-Jena-Leipzig Central German University Alliance.
Our strategic research fields offer significant potential for the development of competitive and excellence-oriented research clusters. By 2025, we will have succeeded in further developing our most important research fields in such a way that they extend beyond the connections or collaborative status of individual Collaborative Research Centres.
Objectives in research until 2025:
The Leipzig Way also describes the dynamic further development of the University’s research profile.
This includes the following stages:
- stimulating, identifying and promoting new research fields (emerging fields),
- the targeted combination of these fields as a nucleus for the acquisition of collaborative projects,
- further development into interdisciplinary research networks with overarching research questions, right the way through to
- the development of internationally visible integrative centres, or iCenters.
The Leipzig Way is geared towards the long term and provides for the establishment of several integrated research centres (iCenters). The formation of the iCenters is independent of the Excellence Strategy of the federal and state governments.
Each centre addresses key societal challenges:
- the dramatic loss of biodiversity (iDiv),
- the obesity pandemic as a disease of modern civilisation (International Reference Centre for Integrative Obesity Research, iOb) and
- the impact of diverse globalisation processes and projects (iGlobe).
Young scientists, whether as individual researchers or as part of collaborative research teams, constitute an important catalyst for the Leipzig Way. In order to enhance our research profile and competitiveness, we are establishing the following successive packages of measures:
- doctoral preparation programme (Pre-Doc Award),
- doctoral qualification programme (Graduate Schools),
- postdoctoral qualification programme and
- tenure-track professorships.
- Pool for strategic appointments
- Incentives for attracting external funding (research funding)
- Flexible Fund for junior academics to provide initial support for projects
- Accompanying programmes such as support available for young scientists at the Research Academy Leipzig (postdoctoral qualification, Pre-Doc Award)
- Professional research service including research information system and research data management
Teaching and study
Quality, stability, internationality and innovation
In teaching, our university’s profile is characterised by the interaction of individual subject groups, including a wide variety of so-called “small subjects”. We have also made a name for ourselves as a Saxon centre for producing graduates for state and public tasks, particularly in the subjects of law, teaching, medicine, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.
Our goal is to ensure the high quality of study and teaching and to continue to increase academic success. By 2025, we will further enhance the profile of our degree programmes and conduct their accreditation. In addition, we will continue to promote the internationalisation of teaching and study and use digitisation for new and innovative teaching formats.
Following the principle of unity of research and teaching, teaching will also contribute to further concentrating Leipzig University’s strategic research fields. The Leipzig Way will see new research results continuously give rise to new teaching material which, in the case of successful research platforms, will in turn provide input for interdisciplinary master’s programmes.
Objectives in teaching until 2025:
Our university will develop its QMS conception further and connect teachers and students, faculties and central organisational units. On this basis, by 2025 all bachelor’s and master’s programmes will undergo our QMS and be subject to external evaluation. By 2025, our university will only enrol students on courses it has already accredited.
Modern graduates must be prepared for a globalised labour market and multicultural and multilingual environments. Leipzig is developing various instruments to help them develop these skills while they study: from integrated study programmes with international partners, to mobility windows and curricular components that enable international experience “at home”.
We are developing courses of study with an international focus in the areas where teaching interfaces with research and transfer, such as:
- research masters
- practice-oriented degree courses with the active participation of companies
- transnational study opportunities abroad and
- marketable continuing education formats.
Our university offers high-quality and sustainable teacher training in conjunction with the Bildungscampus Sachsen, not just for the undergraduate phase of teacher training, but also for qualified teachers and career changers. We aim to develop and implement the “Teacher Training 2025” concept, which also covers stabilisation structures as well as quality and quantity in teacher training.
The digital revolution is changing teaching and learning culture, requiring us to readjust the various teaching and learning formats. It is also important to review the balance between face-to-face learning and private study with electronic resources. In this way, new formats can enrich both the form and content of the courses we offer, without weakening the personal development of students, which depends on regular university attendance in person.
Expand transfer with regional integration and supraregional visibility
There are manifold ways in which our university’s natural and life sciences, humanities and social sciences contribute to technology and knowledge transfer in business, culture and politics. By national standards, we are already highly successful when it comes to promoting start-ups and continue to pursue this course as a leading partner in the Leipzig start-up initiative SMILE. In the future, we want to anchor ‘transfer’ even more firmly in the University’s overall profile and further expand our ability to collaborate.
Objectives until 2025:
With regard to its ‘third mission’ activities, Leipzig University plans to expand its profile. As a further performance category alongside research and teaching, we want to promote the strategic and institutional anchoring of the idea of transfer in all of the University’s institutions and processes. Every faculty, every institution and every research profile area should develop its own specialised transfer objectives and activities.
We will continue to develop and expand our cooperation with civil society, culture, politics and business. We aim to optimise our university’s transfer infrastructure and systematically identify and utilise potential for collaboration. Similarly to the Life Science Transfer Office, a transfer office for the humanities, social sciences and cultural sciences will be established as a means of coordinating and publicising relevant activities. By further intensifying and professionalising science communication, we are not only promoting an interest in the scholarly world and improving people’s understanding of scientific results, but are also helping to shape social dialogue and reinforce academia’s role in providing orientation. The Paulinum – Assembly Hall and University Church of St. Paul, opened in 2017, will increasingly serve as a centre for knowledge transfer.
Management, staff and infrastructure
Our university strives for the greatest possible autonomy in achieving its goals. To enable self-management, particular importance is placed on comprehensive controlling and central reporting, the introduction of an ERP system, and target agreements with the faculties and central institutions. Our university’s administration is involved in this, assisting management and the academic institutions in dealing with new requirements in research, teaching and transfer. By 2025, our university aims to: improve its accountability; attract, retain and develop qualified personnel; increase its physical structural autonomy; and further advance digitisation.
Objectives until 2025:
Our university’s administration will support the Leipzig Way by means of a clear service orientation, data provision, and management. By 2021, we aim to have implemented self-management and a high degree of financial autonomy. We will introduce an ERP system in the areas of financial and human resource management and conclude internal target agreements between the Rectorate and faculties as well as central institutions.
Our university will implement and continuously develop its Staff Development Plan for academic and non-academic personnel. We want to establish long-term human resource planning, step up management development and promote health management. We want to attract and retain outstanding professors: for example, we have set up a competitive tenure track programme and are providing professorships with top-quality staff and material resources.
To become more competitive and to allow us to respond better and faster to the needs of our academics, our university strives for greater autonomy in construction projects. In addition, we aim to clear the backlog of renovation work and construct important new buildings such as the DFG Research Centre iDiv and the Global Hub research building.
Equal opportunities, diversity and family
Our university advocates equal opportunities, diversity, inclusion and family. We see the diversity of university members as a potential for performance and innovation, which we must systematically promote. From the advancement of women and increasing social diversity, to removing barriers and expanding services for a family-friendly university, Leipzig is tackling universal tasks for students, research, teaching and employees.
This diversity-based approach considers all dimensions as well as the reduction of intersectional discrimination. The aim is a university-wide policy of anti-discrimination, including the development of diversity-based services to make research, study and working conditions attractive and competitive across the board. Our university has also recognised its social duty in the sense of its ‘third mission’, staging public events to bring existing inequalities to the attention of its members and local society.
A challenge for the entire University
The increasing use of IT requires a comprehensive and coordinated concept between the central and decentralised IT services of central administration, the faculties and the central institutions. Applications in this area include research data management, the AlmaWeb campus management system, and aligning teaching with the image of the media-savvy global citizen.
Leipzig University will develop and implement a comprehensive digitisation strategy for research, teaching, transfer and administration. We will also establish a research information system and research data management by 2025. An organisational unit for data protection and information security was already set up in 2018. This will be followed by the establishment of a comprehensive information security management system involving all faculties and central institutions. The digitisation of our administration will be significantly advanced by the ERP system and other integrated data processing and evaluation programmes. Our administrative structure will be continuously adapted to digitised work processes.