In publica commoda

Mission statement for Teaching and Learning


The University of Göttingen has been working to evolve a common understanding of good teaching with the aim of developing an overall concept for Teaching and Learning at the University since March 2017. The discussion of Teaching and Learning at the University of Göttingen involved teachers, students, and individuals from academic administration in a university-wide participative process. On 15th August 2018, the Mission Statement for Teaching and Learning at the University of Göttingen that arose from this process was passed unanimously by the Senate. Internal and external experts from the field of higher education supported and contributed to the development of a common understanding of Teaching and Learning.

A first draft was presented and discussed at the second Future Congress of the University in November 2017. At the end of the 2017/18 winter semester, the draft of the Mission Statement was approved by the Central Commission for Teaching and Learning and the Deans of Studies Council. Then, in the 2018 summer semester, there was a joint meeting involving representatives of the Presidential Board and the Senate, the students, the Deans and the Deans of Studies, to give the final touches to the Mission Statement.

In recent years, the University of Göttingen has made considerable efforts to improve conditions of study and the quality of teaching, also drawing on support from the projects funded by the Teaching Quality Pact at the University. The Mission Statement for Teaching and Learning now offers teachers and students an important guiding framework and will form a sound basis for the ongoing development of the quality of teaching at the University of Göttingen.

As a research-focused, internationally-renowned university, the University of Göttingen pursues the ideals and educational concept of the Enlightenment. It is committed to the freedom of research and teaching.

The community of teachers and students is driven by intellectual curiosity, a constructive, critical culture of discussion, and participation in higher educational and social issues. Students are encouraged in their personal development and enabled to make intellectually-sound judgements, with the aim of preparing them to function successfully in their future fields of activity. The University of Göttingen prepares its students for responsible positions both within academia and elsewhere.

Teachers engage students in the practice of research as well as current academic debates, and even from an early stage of their studies help them to gain an insight into the research that takes place at the University and the extramural research institutes on Göttingen’s campus. This research-based teaching enables students to generate an intellectual curiosity and joy in learning, and to engage critically with their subject. The faculties deliver specialist knowledge and the students acquire crucial methodical, digital and social skills. They develop problem-solving expertise to cope with specialised, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary issues as well as social challenges at both local and global levels. This provides a first-class basis for developing specific subject-related identities and enables the students for life-long learning.

The University of Göttingen expects students and teachers to have a positive, open and respectful attitude in the classroom. In accordance with the principles of equal opportunities and fairness, inclusive and flexible learning environments and curricula enable students to contribute their differing experiences and abilities independently and constructively and to develop their knowledge.

The University of Göttingen is facing up to global challenges. Students consider specialised subject issues from various perspectives, and these are complemented with international viewpoints. They learn to communicate and act responsibly and respectfully in different contexts. Together with its international partners, the University of Göttingen runs degree programmes, offers internationalised curricula and supports study-related foreign placements.

The University of Göttingen sees itself as a bricks-and-mortar university. It uses digital innovations to complement teaching on campus in appropriate ways, and to break new ground in didactics. Students and teachers become familiar with the potential of digital media and virtual mobility as a means of networking internationally, as well as of improving the compatibility of studies, career and private life, and breaking down barriers.

The close interlinking of digitisation, internationalisation and diversity orientation, together with research-based teaching, build the foundations for high quality, successful degree studies at Göttingen’s campus.

The founding motto of the University of Göttingen is “In publica commoda”, or “For the Good of All”. Accordingly, the University of Göttingen sees teaching and learning in the sense of a comprehensive education. This also includes social, economic and ecological aspects of acting for sustainable development. So the motto is a call to teachers and students, to contribute to the common good in social discussions and projects both when studying and teaching and as active citizens.