Tag Archives: sustainability

3. Wissenschaftscafe des "Kompetenzzentrum Nachhaltige Universität" (KNU)

Am 25. Juni findet ein Wissenschaftscafe an der Universität Hamburg statt zum Thema “Leistungsmessung in der Wissenschaft – Wozu und wenn ja, wie?” Eingangsstatements von Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Margit Osterloh und Prof. Dr. Dieter Lenzen leiten die Diskussion ein. Hier geht’s zur Einladung und Anmeldung.

World-Café „Nachhaltigkeit 2.0“

Nächste Woche veranstaltet das Kompetenzzentrum Nachhaltige Universität einen Workshop. Folgende Fragestellungen sollen mittels der Partizipationsmethode World-Café diskutiert werden:

• Nachhaltigkeit und Zukunftsfähigkeit von Universitäten stellen neue
Anforderungen an das gesamte Hochschulsystem. Welche Herausforderungen und Chancen bieten sich dadurch?
• Wie können Konzepte der Nachhaltigkeit in Forschung und Lehre implementiert
• Widerspricht eine übergreifend gesetzte Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie an
Universitäten der Autonomie von Forschung und Lehre? Welche Rolle
spielen hier Fakultäten, Fachbereiche und die Hochschulleitung?
• Wie sieht Ihre ‚University for a Sustainable Future’ im Idealfall aus?
Und was würden Sie selbst zur Realisierung Ihrer Vorstellung beitragen

Wir werden sowohl den Prozess als auch die Ergebnisse mit praktischem wie wissenschaftlichem Intersse verfolgen.

Postdoc Fellowships at the Center for a Sustainable University

The Postdoctoral Research Group (PRG) “Sustainable Future” was launched in April 2012 at the newly established Center for a Sustainable University at the Universität Hamburg and aims at attracting excellent junior researchers with a clear potential to develop and realize their projects under the banner of sustainability research.

The PRG will offer postdoctoral fellowships (grants) in a vibrant and intellectually challenging environment, which includes the membership in a specific department within the Universität Hamburg. This dual membership in the PRG and an individual department enables the postdoctoral fellows to conduct research into problems, issues and perspectives of sustainability in a broader context and to engage in a continuous academic exchange with colleagues from their own discipline.

The notion of sustainability in the Center for a Sustainable University does not only refer to disciplines such as research on climate, environmental, energy and resources in which this topic has taken center-stage for a long time. It also and especially addresses research areas, which explore sustainability from critical, didactic and institutional angles not traditionally associated with sustainability studies as such.

The fellowships in the Postdoctoral Research Group have a duration of two years. The fellows will be able to take advantage of one of the two following funding programs:

  • full-time grants of 2,200 Euro per month (for living costs), with an additional lump sum for travel expenses and research costs of 150 Euro per month
  • part-time grants of 800 Euro per month to cover travel and material costs
    (in the case of third-party funding)

We aim to admit up to 20 fellows to the Postdoctoral Research Group each year. Applications are open to all disciplines. We welcome applications from both postdoctoral students from the Universität Hamburg and postdoctoral students from other German universities and from universities abroad.

Applications can be submitted twice a year by 30th June and by 31st December. Please allow a period of about 3 months from the submission deadline to the final decision of the selection committee.

For more information on the application and selection process as well as the award conditions for the fellowships please visit the German section of our website www.nachhaltige.uni-hamburg.de.

If you have any queries, please contact Dr. Susanne Frane at knu[at]uni-hamburg.de.

Reconceptualizing Sustainable Participation in Universities

The search for sustainable forms of participation in decision-making processes at universities is an ever pending issue in higher education research. Current literature mainly unfolds around questions like: How many members of different internal status groups (e.g. professors, students, academic and non-academic employees) or external stakeholders (e.g. politicians, managers, and cultural representatives) shall compose senates, boards, and councils? Which decision rights should be delegated to these collegiate bodies?

But does the focus on committee-based participation capture the phenomenon of participation in universities? Is consensus-oriented decision making, performed by elected members the only form of participation in universities?

By assuming so, we reduce the concept of participation to its fundamental meaning, as the act of sharing in decision making. Participation in this sense is transactional: formal decision rights are delegated to members of status groups and stakeholders. But if we consider participation as transformational phenomena, as the act of sharing in decision framing, we see multiple forms of participation unfolding in universities: The elaborated system of peer-reviews throughout the academic community that ensures quality of research by participating in its progress. Project-based external funding, tendered by external stakeholders to participate in the setting of research agendas. Comprehensive evaluation-programs that promote student participation in the development of teaching formats and lecture style. In all three examples, formal decision rights remain unshared but the outcome of decisions might get considerably influenced by other actors.

Following this inclusive view, participation is more profound than just face time in a meeting. Instead, each one of the various societal demands on higher education (e.g.  international visibility, regional embeddedness, commercialization of research, lifelong academic education) calls for a different form of participation. Each demand involves different stakeholders and features unique interdependencies. Thus, appropriate forms of sustainable participation co-evlove within these settings.

The transactional concept of participation provides meaningful insights for theory and practice. However, it excludes the illustrated organizational phenomena from analysis. Once we see participation as transformational process, we will be able to take a closer look on how participation really happens in universities.