The UAS_BO is an integral part of a larger whole, extending from the local community of Bochum to the global community. As an educational institution, we have a unique opportunity to contribute significantly to societal responsibility. For us, this means educating people within the academic framework to understand both the global implications of local and regional challenges and their solutions, as well as the international and global interdependencies.
In our identity as a university, we consider it our responsibility to find solutions for sustainable development to society at large. As a contribution to the United Nations' 10th Sustainable Development Goal, we have established four objectives related to reducing inequalities, which we refer to as our "Third Mission."
In Bochum's "House of Knowledge", we offer barrier-free educational programmes for underrepresented social groups.
We actively co-operate with UniverCity Bochum.
We are increasing and recording our socio-ecological commitment to the community and the region.
Through knowledge and technology transfer as well as sustainability-related start-up support, we bring Sustainable Development to the wider society.
Since 2023, the University of Bochum has been receiving support from the Federal-State Initiative "Innovative University" for a 5-year project called "Transfer Hub for the Advancement, Livability, and Efficacy of Sustainability Transformation – THALES." This project aims to establish a transfer center at the university, develop and expand strategic partnerships within the Ruhr Metropolitan Area, and implement nine specific transfer projects in sustainable transformative areas, including "Resilience, Mobility, Energy," "Sustainable Living and Business," and "Production, Planning, and Construction." The objective is to drive positive change in these areas.
There are numerous reasons why repairing things is important, yet the majority of products are discarded and replaced with new ones, even when they could be fixed. Repairing has fallen out of favor – many people don't feel capable of repairing items, or they find buying new ones more attractive.
Initiatives like the RuBo Repair Café aim to change this. Repairing things can be enjoyable, sustainable, and eco-friendly. Repairing extends the lifespan of goods, saving resources and money while reducing waste. Furthermore, DIY repairs foster knowledge exchange among diverse individuals, raise awareness about issues like planned obsolescence, and promote participation in sustainable lifestyles.
The AStA RuBo Repair Café was founded in 2020 by students from the UAS_BO and the RUB, in collaboration with both AStAs. It emphasizes the concept of helping people help themselves. Students and Bochum residents can bring their broken items to the Repair Café and receive assistance in terms of knowledge and tools, as well as help in sourcing necessary replacement parts, and more. As a regular offering with fixed opening hours and a wide range of repair services, RuBo promotes a more sustainability-conscious way of living.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 10 call for "Quality Education" and "Reduced Inequalities." Since 2016, the BO Talent Scouts have been active in 28 Bochum schools, providing guidance and support to up to 1100 students today. Their goal is to be mentors in the journey of career and education orientation, especially for those whose career aspirations may not easily unfold for various reasons.
The objectives of Talentscouting include:
- Enhancing educational equity.
- Increasing equality of opportunities.
- Acknowledging and recognizing achievements in the context of life.
- Discovering the potentials of students and nurturing their abilities.
- Reducing inequalities in the educational process.
- Positively influencing the educational process through counseling and guidance.
- Empowering students to make well-suited career and education decisions.
As one of four representatives from the scientific community, Prof Christoph Mudersbach from the Department of Hydraulic Engineering and Hydromechanics at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has been advising the state government of NRW on the implementation of the flood protection work plan since 2022.
Professor Dr Petra Schweizer-Ries (Transformative Sustainability Research) and her team partners wrote the 17th chapter of the third working group: "In order to overcome the climate crisis and achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we need a rapid and major social transformation. In our contribution, I described what people are capable of when they connect with each other."
Architecture and urban planning engage in a dialogue with the citizens of Bochum. The Bochum City Talks, established since the year 2000, provide a public platform for current topics in architecture, urban development, and city planning. Stimulated by presentations from speakers representing politics, administration, society, and planning, each visitor has the opportunity to participate in wide-ranging discussions afterward.
The chosen themes not only aim to reflect the perspective of Bochum but also to ensure a broader outlook, offering an external perception. The topics covered are diverse, extending beyond the presentation of current competition results to encompass current issues in city and regional planning, described and open for discussion.
Right in the heart of Bochum's city center, the "House of Knowledge" is taking shape. It's one of the most exciting projects under the Bochum Strategy 2030, integrating the city library, the adult education center, offerings from the alliance of Bochum's universities (UniverCity), and even a market hall.
The primary focus here, within a total area of approximately 11,000 square meters, is to create a new hub for education and community engagement. It's a place for participation, knowledge exchange, sensory experiences, and shopping pleasure. The universities will play a significant role in facilitating the transfer of knowledge to all corners of society, reaching both deep and wide.
"If our university was a kind of role model for other universities, that would of course be fantastic. On the one hand, it's great when others appreciate your work and want to follow a similar path. On the other hand, it is of course also important for our global goal of a sustainable future that people have the same vision and similar ideas."
Robert Rottschäfer, Sustainable Development student
"The future of the region lies in its sustainable transformation. As a university, we can actively contribute to this."
Prof Dr Andreas Wytzisk-Arens, President of the UAS_BO