Latest Course News

Studium Individuale at the Leuphana College

02/06/2017 How can I link my different interests and bring them into my studies? How can I prepare myself for a fast and radically changing world? How can I take responsibility for my own studies whilst learning together with other people? These are some of the central questions that potential students bring to the Open Days, the Studium Individuale’s Information day. These events are now regularly held three times a year (in January, April and June). They remain the best way to find out about this unusual and unique programme of study in Germany. More than 40 potential students came to Leuphana for the latest Open Day on 6th of January.

What attracts prospective students to the Studium Individuale? It is first and foremost the freedom to autonomously design a considerable part of one's own studies. At the same time, however, it is easy for potential students to hear that this freedom is not spent in solitude – one is not left alone as a student on a Studium Individuale course. On the contrary: the community and the intensive learning from and with each other are constitutive of this programme of studies: additional offers, such as weekend retreats and Friday talks, and – last but not least – informal discussions as part of the routine of study complement the more demanding core modules of the Studium Individuale.

"In addition to freedom and community, the Studium Individuale’s hallmark consists in confronting present-day issues and questions” explains Dr. Volker Balli, the course’s Academic Director. It stands not only at the heart of the core modules, but also in the students’ own selection of modules. Studium Individuale, therefore, deliberately teaches the ability to comprehend and analyse complex problems thoroughly in relation to other things. Cultivating central academic skills, such as analytical thinking, convincing communication and nuanced judgments are even more fundamental. “These so-called ‘soft’ skills, are not just that”, declares Volker Balli, “they constitute competences indispensable for life as a successful person, but also for success as a citizen.”

“But will my undergraduate studies be recognised and understood as such afterwards?” is a question one often hears from potential students at the Open Days. Volker Balli is aware of this concern, but he can alleviate these fears: “On the one hand, the German Rectors' Conference of 2016 generally requires the things which we have been infusing in the Studium Individuale for several years already: more flexibility and freedom, breadth and interdisciplinarity, as well as general academic qualification. On the other hand, we are witnessing an important evolution in the design of programmes of study, especially in the Netherlands and the UK, referred to as ‘Liberal Education’ and with which we cooperate in different ways – hence the subtitle of the Studium Individuale as “Contemporary Liberal Education”. The quality of these programmes of study has now spread to universities and employers. It may not be exaggerated to say that our programme is forward-looking.

All information about the Studium Individuale and the next Open Days can be found on the homepage of the course.

Editor: Martin Gierczak, University Communication. News can be send to