23. Januar 2019 |

Farewell to our reviewer guests! A moving on-site visit

Over the course of two days, international scientists visited Technische Universität Braunschweig. Their task: to evaluate whether Carolo-Wilhelmina should be awarded the title of University of Excellence. A total of 19 universities are applying for the funding that goes with the designation – 11 of them will be chosen on 19 July based on their concepts for the future and their on-site evaluations. Through their Excellence Strategy, the Federal Government and the Federal States aim to strengthen top-level research in Germany. In our proposal, TU Braunschweig has requested a total of €75 million in funding over the next seven years.

We move together: some 650 staff members, project partner representatives and City of Braunschweig officials attended the opening event. Photo credit: Kristina Rottig/TU Braunschweig

The motto of our application is “we move” – and a moving visit it was, in both the physical and the emotional senses of the term, for many members of the Carolo-Wilhelmina community. 650 of them, ranging from students to professors, and representatives of partner institutions, were guests at the opening event on 2 May. The venue was unusual: never before has an Excellence evaluation taken place under a circus tent. The bright red big top currently functions as a stand-in for the Audimax auditorium while it is undergoing renovations.

The other parts of the evaluation visit were not open to the public. The focus of the evaluation is the concept for the future of the entire university. For that reason, a broad range of topics was examined, including the research projects envisioned in the proposal, teaching at TU Braunschweig, internationalisation measures, equal opportunities, digitalisation and university management.

Close to 200 university members were interviewed, as well as members of the University Council, representatives from partner institutions and international partner universities, Lower Saxon Minister President Stephan Weil, Lower Saxon Minister for Science and Culture Björn Thümler, and Braunschweig Mayor Ulrich Markurth.

To give the members of the evaluation group, with their tightly packed programme, an impression of the vibrant life on our campus, more than 40 initiatives and groups organised Campus in Motion, a festival on University Square. This way, all members of the university community were able to make a contribution, even if they were not directly involved in the evaluation. The heart of the festival was the Science Cloud, which has been the joint open-air pavilion of the ForschungRegion Braunschweig research alliance and the City of Braunschweig since Braunschweig’s anniversary as a City of Science. All around this focal point, the university community set up colourful booths on the subjects of Culture, Sustainability, Innovation, Science, Research, and Sports and Heath. Student initiatives showcased their talents, and Braunschweig research institutions offered glimpses of their work. One of the highlights was the open-air party that wrapped up the day, featuring, among others, author and musician Thomas Meinecke, current holder of the Ricarda Huch Poetics Lectureship, as disc jockey.

On behalf of the Executive Board, we would like to thank the following parties for their participation and support, help and advice, crossed fingers and for giving us tailwind:

  • The Federal State of Lower Saxony and its Ministry for Science and Culture
  • The City of Braunschweig and its Stadtmarketing GmbH marketing agency
  • Local newspaper Braunschweiger Zeitung
  • All ad space buyers and partners in the “we move” campaign
  • The Braunschweig Chamber of Industry and Commerce
  • The Arbeitgeberverband Region Braunschweig employers’ organisation
  • Eintracht Braunschweig football club
  • Basketball Löwen basketball club
  • Braunschweigischer Hochschulbund (association of the friends and sponsors of TU Braunschweig)
  • Our regional, national and international partner universities, some of which actively supported us here on site during the evaluation
  • The partners in our Clusters of Excellence QuantumFrontiers and SE²A
  • Leibniz University Hannover, the National Metrology Institute of Germany and the German Aerospace Centre (Braunschweig site)
  • ForschungRegion Braunschweig (alliance of science institutions in the Braunschweig region)
  • The members of the University Council
  • All of the helpers involved either behind the scenes or directly during the evaluation
  • Student Services
  • The student initiatives
  • All participating representatives of the Departments and institutes, Core Research Areas and Excellence Clusters
  • All participating students, early career scientists and staff members
  • The administrative offices and staff members of the Departments, research centres and Central Facilities
  • The Administrative Departments
  • The Designated Offices of the Executive Board
  • The International House
  • The Sandkasten student initiative
  • The Project House
  • The Administrative Office of the Executive Board
  • The Feelgood Team and
  • The members of the Core Team

We would also like to express our sincere thanks to all those not involved in the University of Excellence application who saw to it that regular operations continued at their usual high quality and who shouldered many additional burdens.