Digitization and digitality at Leuphana

Digitization and digital transformation are central transformations of our time that are addressed at Leuphana in research, teaching and transfer. It combines theoretical approaches that focus on the analysis and critical reflection of digitality and digital cultures with action-oriented approaches that aim to shape the digital transformation to create a unique profile.

Cross-sectional topics in research

Digitization and digital transformation are present as cross-cutting topics in the research of several faculties and are reflected in innovative research approaches with international appeal.

  • Forward-looking developments such as artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0 or 5G and their potential applications for commercial enterprises are the subject of research by several professorships in the Faculty of Management and Technology.
  • At the Research Center Digital Transformation (RCDT), scientists* cooperate in interdisciplinary projects with regional, national and international partners to jointly shape the digital transformation.
  • The research focus "Digital Cultures" of the Faculty of Cultural Sciences, which has been in existence for more than ten years, deals with the socio-cultural changes associated with digital technologies and works on these in a contemporary-analytical and historical, theory-based and empirical manner.
  • The start was made by the EU-funded large-scale project Innovation Incubator (2009-2015; total volume: approx. 100 million euros) with, among other things, four sub-projects on the topic of "Digital Media." This gave rise to the Center for Digital Cultures (CDC), funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, which analyzes the digital transformation together with an international network of changing guest researchers, academic institutions, industry partners and civil society actors.
  • At Leuphana, the first DFG collaborative research group established in Lower Saxony conducted research on the topic area of "Media Cultures of Computer Simulation" from 2012 to 2022. 
  • At the Faculty of Education, the project "Digital-supported practice in subject teaching: competent teachers - individualized learning processes" is currently being funded as part of the third phase of the "Quality Offensive Teacher Training" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Studying digital transformation

Whether artificial intelligence, data science, Industry 4.0 or related fields: Current topics with high relevance are addressed at Leuphana in several innovative study programs at the bachelor's and master's level. 

  • In all bachelor's and master's degree programs at the Faculty of Management and Technology, digital transformation marks a visible cross-cutting theme. Students are prepared for the challenges of the present and the future in a way that fits them perfectly.
  • New findings from research flow directly into teaching, as do innovative technologies, for example in the "Leuphana Learning Factory," which enables students to test Industry 4.0 concepts, or in the "Digital Innovation Lab," where students test innovative IT artifacts such as virtual reality or sensors and learn to integrate them into solutions for real-world challenges.
  • The Digital Media major, which has been offered at the college since 2013 in cooperation with the Hamburg Media School, combines technical content from computer science and media design with cultural and media studies analysis and reflection on digital cultures to create a unique study profile.
  • Since 2019, the Stanford-Leuphana Summer Academy has brought together top-class academics and interested students from both universities from the fields of media studies and media theory and from various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences for intensive joint discussions.
  • At the Professional School, working professionals can further their education in several part-time study and certificate programs and seminars on issues of digitization, such as the two part-time MBA programs Digital Production Management and Digital Transformation Management.
  • The Faculty of Education's teaching degree programs include a separate study profile entitled "Digital Teaching and Learning" to optimally prepare prospective teachers for school practice.

Pioneer in digital teaching and learning

Leuphana was able to position itself as an innovator in digital teaching and learning in Germany more than ten years ago - and thus long before the pandemic-related shift of German-speaking universities toward digital teaching.

  • As early as 2011, it developed digital seminar modules for students at both universities and used them in teaching as part of the "Global Classroom" project together with Arizona State University and funded by a grant from the Mercator Foundation.
  • With the founding of the Leuphana Digital School one year later and with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for students at Leuphana and for interested parties outside the university, she has demonstrated a sure instinct for innovative digital teaching and learning formats.
  • As one of only a few universities nationwide, Leuphana succeeded in starting the 2020 summer semester on time digitally with more than 90 percent of the approximately 1,600 planned courses. It was also able to offer more than 350 online exams in this and the following semester. For this very successful ad-hoc shift to digital teaching, the university was able to draw on service, support, and continuing education offerings for digital teaching and learning from the teaching service, which had already been developed as part of the project "Leuphana...on the way!"
  • Since 2021, Leuphana has been successfully developing digital teaching in the cross-faculty and cross-school project "Digital Transformation Lab for Teaching and Learning (DigiTaL)," which is being funded by the Foundation for Innovation in University Teaching to the tune of one million euros.
    In the collaborative project "Souver@nes digitales Lehren und Lernen" (SOUVER@N), also funded by the Foundation for Innovation in University Teaching, it is joining forces in digital teaching and learning with eight partners; in the collaborative project "Connecting Experts and Services" (ConnEx), for which Leuphana is the lead applicant and which is funded by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, it is even bringing together all of Lower Saxony's universities for the first time.

Digital infrastructure: integrative and cooperative

Leuphana also repeatedly demonstrates its innovative strength at the level of its digital infrastructure. It relies on the integration of services and on cooperation with strong partners, because it is convinced that powerful digital infrastructures can only be developed and expanded together in the future.

  • As a member of the umbrella initiative Hochschule.digital Niedersachsen, which was founded by the State Rectors Conference of Lower Saxony (LHK), the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, and the Volkswagen Foundation, it is actively involved in the joint and sustainable development of a digitization strategy and structure for Lower Saxony's universities.
  • Leuphana was an innovator in Germany with the introduction and continuous development of its integrated study information system (myStudy) starting in 2001 and with the introduction of its research information system PURE in 2011. Since 2020, it has been implementing a new campus management system as a member of the CAMPUSonline network with almost 40 other partners.
  • As early as 2010, the university pursued the innovative approach of offering digital processes and content from a single source and integrating them with analog services in the sense of hybrid services by merging the computer center, media center and library into a single facility, the Media and Information Center.