The Draw of Knowledge. Since 1456.
The University of Greifswald is amongst the oldest universities in the German-speaking countries, founded in 1456 following an initiative from citizens of the Hanseatic town of Greifswald, to whom there is still a strong connection today.
During the course of its changing political history, the University has managed to win, retain and expand its reputation as a location for international research and high quality teaching. Due to its geographical location in the Baltic region and the region’s history, the University strives to maintain and expand its strong academic contacts throughout the world, but in particular to partners in Poland, in the Baltic States and in Scandinavia. The University of Greifswald’s special position in the German university landscape is thus strengthened by its specific aptitude for the cultural diversity of the Baltic region, as well as the northern and eastern European points of view in terms of scientific research.
Research and teaching at the University is committed to the freedom and autonomy of thought. The University regards research, teaching and studying as one entity, which is to be fostered and developed in cooperation with the individual academic disciplines. Conscious of its long history and its social, economic and cultural responsibility, the University consistently strives for new academic concepts and teaching methods and transfers its research results into specific fields of application.
The University invites people of all origins and convictions to take part in academic education, to work together to enhance knowledge and to train proficiency in all areas of human life and social existence. This means that the University, its members as researchers, teaching staff and students, are expected to stand up for a free, civil and democratic society and to advocate the peaceful coexistence of humans and nations. A driving power for the University of Greifswald is the consciousness of its own history and the demands of the future, which will have to be tackled by research.
The Mission Statement expresses the way the University of Greifswald sees itself, but at the same time is to be used as an orientation for future-changing decisions in the following core areas of its activities:
Scientific research is characterised by explicit issues, where knowledge still needs to be gained, and which are examined theoretically and methodically in detail, according to international professional standards. The University recognises gaining new scientific insights and making them applicable for society as its fundamental task. This work also builds the foundation for the specialist education of the students.
At the University of Greifswald, both basic research and applied research are pursued. Both forms of gaining knowledge complement one another. This helps to increase knowledge in all areas and support the transfer of knowledge into practice. The University thus contributes to intellectual, cultural, economic and social development and with its research supports the preservation of the basis of life.
The University supports the idea of internationally evident and competitive cutting-edge research. The University calls for and promotes key areas of research in a specific and appropriate manner, which correspond to the worldwide stand in the respective field of research and its interdisciplinary ties; as well as researchers who take responsibility for the scientific and academic development of their subject areas and cooperate with internal and external partners to find solutions for fundamental and current problems on a global and local scale. To that effect, the University of Greifswald sees itself as a research university. Within the realms of its possibilities, the University supports its members’ initiatives to take part in joint and individual research projects and to successfully raise third-party funding in competitive processes. The University provides the required infrastructure for conducting research projects. The University’s research profile takes gender aspects into account. It supports highly qualified women and counteracts the under-representation of women, in particular in leading academic positions.
The University of Greifswald is committed to the principle that research and teaching are one. It is eager to offer its students an excellent education at the highest academic level. At the same time, it is committed to continually developing the courses offered on a qualitative and quantitative basis. This task is demanding for the teaching staff and the students, but also for the academic self-government and the administration.
Using the regular evaluation of teaching events, studying conditions and course organisation as a basis, the quality of the courses on offer can be secured and improved. The University promotes the development of the subject knowledge and teaching skills of its teaching staff and the training in and implementation of effective forms of teaching and learning. It endeavours to develop personalities, who are endowed with the ability for knowledge-based activities and lifelong learning. The University welcomes students of all ethnic origins and nationalities and tries hard to allow for the different educational backgrounds of its students.
The University’s diversity is shown in its broad spectrum of disciplines and its abilities to interconnect them. Being a full-scale University, the University of Greifswald regards upholding its subject range as a matter of course.
The University of Greifswald works towards the internationalisation of research and teaching. In light of the worldwide competition for the brightest minds and limited financial means, the University sees internationalisation as both an obligation and a chance. The University supports the acquisition and development of its members’ international experiences. It works hard to integrate foreign students.
The University is aware of the diversity of social backgrounds and the individual abilities of its members and tries to use these productively.
The University regards its diversity as a chance for constant innovation, but at the same time also as a duty for preserving and maintaining its unity through mutual solidarity.
All of the University’s employees are in need of good external conditions, if they are to achieve good working results. That includes enough resources required for the tasks i.e. jobs, buildings and financial means from the state government and also an inspiring, open work atmosphere with cooperative interaction with other members of staff, high levels of individual responsibility and appropriate levels of participation. The University’s compact structure is used consciously to maintain and strengthen good personal and academic contact between the faculties and subject areas; and direct communication between the students and the teaching staff.
The bodies of academic self-government ensure the involvement of the members of all of the University’s entities and status groups in all levels of the planning and decision-making processes at the University in a democratic manner and make the decisions made visible and comprehensible.
The University is committed to providing a democratic gender culture in all work areas and is working towards making working and studying in Greifswald family-friendly. It wants to become CO2-neutral. The administration sees itself as a service provider for academia and, by using all of the University’s resources efficiently, supports the sustainable development towards an environmentally-friendly and fully accessible University.
The University supports the social, cultural and sporting activities of its members.
These conditions form the basis for the creativity and innovativeness with which the members of the University of Greifswald develop new perspectives.
Greifswald, 19th September 2012
The Senate of the University of Greifswald, drawn up by the Rector,
Prof. Dr. Rainer Westermann