German Council of Science and Humanities: “ZU has achieved impressive accomplishments”
The German Council of Science and Humanities granted Zeppelin University institutional accreditation on February 2, 2009. In addition, ZU was the first university in Germany to receive a recommendation from the Council of Science and Humanities for the autonomous entitlement to award doctoral degrees on May 30, 2011. This gave ZU the top seal of approval from the German higher-education sector and it became the first private university in Germany to be accredited twice by the Council. On September 10, 2011, ZU was granted the entitlement for awarding doctoral and post-doctoral degrees from the state of Baden-Württemberg.
“Innovative approach is vastly different than the existing methods at other universities”
“Zeppelin University, founded in 2003, has gone through an impressive development process,” explained Professor Peter Strohschneider, former Chairman of the German Council of Science and Humanities, in February 2009. ZU, having the idea of a “research-oriented private university” as its guiding concept, seeks to provide “an equally theory-based as well as systematically career-oriented education of ‘generalists’ with a multidisciplinary perspective between economy, culture and politics.” The Council believes that with this innovative approach, ZU is presenting opportunities that are vastly different from other universities. “Zeppelin University does have an ambitious guiding concept, but one that is definitely reachable based on their performance so far – particularly in light of their mere 5 years of existence as a university,” – claims Strohschneider.
Convincing academic performance
“With their clear focus on research, ZU is making a very welcome contribution to further differentiation in the private university sector in Germany,” says the current Chairman of the German Council of Science and Humanities, Professor Wolfgang Marquardt, in his statement from May, 2011.
“ZU provides researchers with excellent framework conditions for their work,” according to a statement by the Council, which is available online. Also: “The scholarly performance of ZU’s teaching staff is impressive. There is a high level of identification in all participants, not only with their own specific issues, but also with the university as a whole. Both the very dedicated university administration and the teaching staff have a noticeably strong will and high level of enthusiasm for continuously driving the ZU project forward.”
The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts in Stuttgart welcomes the Council’s decision: “I view this as confirmation of the dynamic and impressive development of Zeppelin University,” commented Minister Theresia Bauer.
The German Council of Science and Humanities underlines the long-term funding guarantee as being the endowment university’s most positive accomplishment, particularly in times since the financial market crisis and the resulting problems it has created for private universities. “ZU's funding, which was evaluated as being 'very solid' during the course of the institutional accreditation process in 2009, is very stable due to the mid- to long-term commitment of its patrons. The needed strengthening of the measures for research sponsoring has been successful,” according to the current statement.
Additional reinforcement of the doctoral programs
“The completed and pending doctoral procedures conducted in cooperation with other universities highlight ZU’s capability to award doctoral degrees,” reports the Council of Science and Humanities . Since 2003, there have been more than 80 doctoral degrees earned by young ZU scientists, and there are currently an additional 90 pending. Now that the institutional entitlement has been granted by the state of Baden-Württemberg, the doctoral programs will be further expanded within the scope of the established “Zeppelin University Graduate School.”
Thank you: the work of an outstanding team
“Zeppelin University has always been seen as a unique and innovative university, particularly in their teaching methods – as confirmed by their top placement in the rankings. After such a short time in the field of research, we are very happy to be honored as a completely normal research university,” says ZU President Prof. Stephan A. Jansen. “The Board owes special thanks to the more than 100 committed and courageous scientists that have facilitated this step through their impressive research performance over the last eight years.”
The German Council of Science and Humanities
The German Council of Science and Humanities advises the federal government and the governments of other countries. It has the duty to process recommendations on the content-related and structural development of science, research and in the field of higher education, as well as ensuring German academic competitiveness. With the accreditation procedure, the Council determines whether the higher education institutions’ teaching and research performance conforms to recognized scientific standards. This serves as quality assurance and creates transparency and the comparability of educational opportunities.
The accreditation procedure
After ZU’s receipt of institutional accreditation in February of 2009, the relevant Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the state of Baden-Württemberg submitted an application in June of 2010 for the assessment by the German Council of Science and Humanities for the autonomous entitlement to award doctorates. In July, 2010, the Council announced their acceptance of the procedure, and in October, 2010, a twelve-person assessment commission from the Council visited ZU. The decision regarding the recommendation for the right to confer titles, initially for five years, was publicized on May 30, 2011.
The right to confer titles
According to the Higher Education Act of Baden-Württemberg, the German Council of Science and Humanities recommendation is a mandatory prerequisite for awarding autonomous rights to confer titles by the state. The rights were granted on September 10, 2011 by Minister Theresia Bauer.