Leuphana breaks new ground in digital teaching and learning

2021-05-27 Success in the national competition of the Foundation for Innovation in Higher Education Teaching

Lüneburg/Hamburg. Leuphana University Lüneburg is receiving millions in financial support for further initiatives in the field of digital innovation in higher education teaching. As the Foundation for Innovation in Higher Education Teaching has now announced, the model university in Lower Saxony has prevailed with two applications in the nationwide competition "Strengthening Higher Education Teaching through Digitisation" and will receive funding for two projects over the next three years. With its project "Leuphana: Digital Transformation Lab for Teaching and Learning" (DigiTaL) and its participation in the joint project "Souver@nes Digitales Lehren und Lernen in Niedersachsen" (SOUVER@N), Leuphana succeeded in acquiring funding of more than 4.6 million euros. Only just over half of the 264 project applications received were deemed worthy of funding.

By establishing a "Digital Transformation Lab for Teaching and Learning" (DigiTaL), Leuphana will create new interaction spaces for the professional development of teaching innovations, the promotion of strategic developments and the exchange and transfer of results. The topics of "digital teaching-learning innovations", "digital literacy" and "digital internationalisation" are at the forefront. For Professor Erich Hörl, who initiated the project together with Dr. Julia Webersik, this is a promising approach: "We want to actively participate in the digital transformation of university teaching, shape it as our creative and independent response to the disruption we had to experience as a result of the pandemic. In doing so, we are not only concerned with emphasising and implementing the potentials of digitality to strengthen university teaching, but also with critically examining the new opportunities and measuring them against our qualification goals and mission statements."

Souver@N, another funded joint project, is managed in cooperation by the universities Osnabrück, Lüneburg and Oldenburg. Its objective is the creation of sovereign digital teaching and learning and thus responds to a demand of the German Council of Science and Humanities, which has encouraged universities to set their own trends more strongly and not only to use opportunities that are brought to them from the outside. A confident use of digital technologies can be achieved, among other things, by improving the qualifications of teachers and students. The objective must be to develop teaching and learning opportunities that meet professional standards. Universities as a whole can thus also gain sovereignty in dealing with the digital transformation.

Leuphana President Sascha Spoun is pleased about the success: "The forced digitalisation of studies during the Corona pandemic clearly showed that digital transformation must no longer remain technology-driven, but in a comprehensive sense must be shaped and reflected upon driven by science. Thanks to the funding, we now have the opportunity to embark on this path.”