ESD  - Education for sustainable development

ESD enables students to recognise non-sustainable development and promotes critical reflective thinking, participatory and collaborative learning, and responsible and long-sighted regional and global behaviour. As a university, we have a key role in supporting the development of these abilities. We are educating the decision makers of the future. Therefore we place particular value on introducing our students to social, technological, and ecological challenges in professional and private contexts and enable them to contribute to and effect sustainable and feasible approaches to solving problems. 

Award presentation of the N-ERGIE prizes, from left to right: Daniela Tröster (N-ERGIE), Jan Niessen, Florian Matzak, Katrin Schwanke, Michael Domes (Project team CZ, Ohm), Christina Zitzmann (Ohm) (Photo: Melanie Scheller)

Curriculum Z

In the research and development project, Curriculum Z - Future competences for transformation and sustainable economics in the 21st century, which is incorporated in the Management in Organic and Sustainability Business degree programme, the significance of social and cultural innovations for future-oriented education are emphasised alongside interdisciplinary and systematic approaches. Scientific factors, the limits of the planet, and the need for fertile ecosystems form the starting point for the transformation processes that are required. Furthermore, social dimensions and democratic-humanistic values will be considered to develop a concept of a sustainable economy and society and to shape it in practice. Selected examples of sustainable corporate management from practice will highlight areas of possibility along with specific decisions. Curriculum and didactic concepts will be developed across disciplines, tested, and reflected from multiple perspectives to assess their efficacy in terms of competence acquisition. The results of the project will be discussed and calibrated with experts from within the university and from businesses.

In demand: New PV system at Wassertorstraße

Since April 2022, a new photovoltaic system has been in operation at the Wassertorstraße location; 100% of the energy generated by the system is integrated into the university electricity supply. The AMP Faculty implemented this project independently and provided funds for the system.

Prof. Hofbeck, about a year has passed since the new PV system was integrated into the electrical network at the university. Looking back, how do you see the outcome? Was it worth the effort?

Prof. Hofbeck: Absolutely, yes. The system produces the calculated power and thanks to many hours of sunshine since we started it operating, a lot of sunlight has been converted into electrical energy.

What opportunities do students in your courses have that they didn’t have before the PV system was acquired?

Prof. Hofbeck: The system has the advantage that it is state-of-the-art technology and is installed on the accessible area of the roof, near a weather station with highly precise measurement devices, for example, for direct and indirect sun radiation. This enables us to offer interesting scientific experiments for projects and final theses. Students in my Renewable Energy - Photovoltaics course enjoy the fact that they can ‘get on top of the university’ and demonstratively learn about practical aspects of the mechanical setup and electrical cabling of the system in one of the units.

Are there other plans?

Prof. Hofbeck: The PV system on the Wassertorstraße roof was planned as the little brother of an identically constructed system that is installed on the roof of a school in Yaoundé (Cameroon) and was obtained through research funds. The next step is to evaluate the data from both photovoltaic systems that we have been receiving as of late. Thanks to an excellent team, my colleagues in AMP, especially Steffen Reißenweber, who has extensive expertise and experience abroad, and two students from Cameroon who completed outstanding work on the photovoltaic system in Yaoundé during a stay in their home country, there is nothing standing in the way of further interesting experiments.