Kiel University of Applied Sciences: Redefining the Versatility in Higher Education

Kiel University of Applied Sciences
Kiel University of Applied Sciences

Germany’s education system has long been recognized for its top-notch quality and high standards, making it a prime destination for students seeking a world-class education. With its renowned schools, exceptional quality of life, and abundant professional opportunities, Germany has become a hot spot for international students from around the globe.

But what sets Germany’s education system apart is not just its traditional universities and research institutions but also its robust network of specialized universities of applied sciences. For instance, Kiel University of Applied Sciences (Kiel UAS) is a shining example of the country’s commitment to innovation and excellence in education.

Founded in 1969 as a result of the merger of several state engineering schools and higher technical colleges, Kiel UAS has since grown to become the largest and most versatile university of applied sciences in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. With over 7,900 students enrolled across six departments, Kiel UAS is dedicated to offering cutting-edge programs that prepare students for the ever-evolving demands of the job market.

The university takes pride in its reputation as a center for innovation and creativity, but it also recognizes the need to adapt to the changing needs of industry and society. Through ongoing efforts to improve its programs and stay at the forefront of technological advances, Kiel UAS is helping to shape the future of education and innovation in Germany and beyond.

In its more than 40 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, the university offers young people, the specialists of tomorrow, the best possible education – within the framework of various study models, some of which are also part-time. As a university of applied sciences, it focuses above all on a strong practical orientation. Its professors know the working world outside the university from many years of professional experience and are happy to pass on their valuable practical experience during their studies. Thanks to excellent facilities, students get to know the tools, machines and digital tools – especially in technical courses of study – during their education so that they can later shape their futures.

Ensuring Better Futures

At an early stage, Kiel UAS helps students establish contacts with interesting companies and institutions. During internships and project work, they get to know employers in the region and can use this profitably during the transition from study to work: After graduation, two-thirds of graduates already find regular employment within three months.

Some of them even sign their employment contracts before they have their degree certificate in their hands. Because studying should be an exciting time full of new impressions, the university offers its students a lot outside the curriculum.

During the Interdisciplinary Weeks in the middle of each semester, they gain insights into other disciplines, acquire language skills and deal with topics that are not on the curriculum. If they would like to broaden their horizons through a stay abroad, the Kiel UAS helps them organize a semester at one of its 124 partner universities – including the possibility of earning an international double degree.

Developing a Lively Campus

The university is also continuing to develop a lively campus directly on the river of Schwentine and the Kiel Fjord in line with the times. Many students choose to get to the campus by ferry – quite a unique experience.

In addition to the Velocampus, which makes Kiel UAS even more accessible, especially for public transport and bikes, it is also particularly looking forward to Library Learning Center. In the future, this will provide students with a place that will enable individual and collaborative learning and work in an open environment.

The vision of the university is to be the university of excellence for teaching in northern Germany!

Its mission is to empower students at Kiel UAS to develop and achieve their goals by providing them with the upwind required.

Demonstrating Science-Based Approaches

For Kiel UAS, excellent teaching is interdisciplinary, practice-oriented, based on research and science, and characterized by its internationality and the wide range of methods used.

The teaching at the university is practice-oriented since it demonstrates science-based approaches to answering questions and solving problems in society and the economy.

Due to its diverse scientific disciplines and numerous collaborations with international partners, the university enables the potential of interdisciplinary and international teaching and, in doing so, changes perspectives for teachers and students.

From this point of view, excellent teaching also means focusing on the continuous implementation of diverse teaching and learning methods that allow the university to align with individual teaching and learning opportunities and the needs of all groups at the university. Integrated internships and the practical relevance of project reports and thesis papers submitted by students strongly enhance the hands-on approach to teaching.

Enhancing Professional Competencies

The graduates of the university have a well-founded and wide range of professional competence in their specializations as well as good key competencies (soft skills). They pursue solution-oriented approaches, work well in teams, respect other perspectives and cultures, and assist in actively shaping their social environment.

Recognizing Special Needs

Graduates of Kiel UAS are qualified to adapt to the changing demands of professional life and life-long learning. (Master’s) Programmes serve to recognize the special need for executives and skilled professionals in enterprises and organizations.

In addition, the graduates acquire comprehensive soft skills and methodical competencies. They act in a solution-oriented manner, are open to criticism, and are able to understand other theories and academic disciplines. Moreover, they excel in open-mindedness, a sense of responsibility, and tolerance.

The university incorporates relevant developments in science, society and the economy and implements them in future-oriented study programmes. Kiel UAS sees itself as an innovative pacemaker for Schleswig-Holstein.

Managing Innovation

Kiel University of Applied Sciences adapts to social developments and responds to them with attractive study programmes, e.g. Multimedia Production, Early Childhood Education, Physiotherapy, Data Science, Industrial Engineering, Digital Business Management or Business Information Systems.

This capacity is further developed based on its interdisciplinary competence to become an outstanding feature in managing innovation. When creating study programmes, the university takes into account the dynamic development of the regional labour market and qualifies graduates accordingly.

Ensuring a High Scientific Level of Teaching

The practice-oriented research and development is the foundation for excellent teaching at this university. It is a reliable and innovative partner for businesses and non-profit organizations.

Pursuing own research and development activities ensures a high scientific level of teaching. The expertise of high-performing institutions such as the Institute for CIM Technology Transfer and the Research & Development Centre FH Kiel GmbH is at University’s disposal to develop innovative solutions on a high scientific level for enterprises and non-profit organizations.

In doing so, the university has been able to provide the required cutting-edge teaching and transfer this knowledge into society. Following this aim, it shall further avail itself of interdisciplinary competencies. Furthermore, the university is convinced that the unlimited creation of new knowledge acquired by free research is also necessary to gain a high academic level in teaching and technology resp. knowledge transfer.

In addition, excellent practice-oriented research and development is a necessary pre-requisite for the acquisition of third-party funds, the reputation of the Kiel University of Applied Sciences and the recruitment and retention of highly qualified scientists.

Promoting Regional Strengths

The university uses its international orientation to promote its regional strengths. It continues to expand its cooperation with other universities, organizations and companies.

The regional mission obliges the university to equip its graduates and partners in research and development with the knowledge they can build upon in a global world. Therefore, it actively promotes mobility and the exchange of students and lecturers and perceives itself as part of the international scientific community.

Maintaining Collaborative Environment

The university is aware that efficient research and development can only be conducted within an alliance. Therefore, it collaborates with other universities, research and development institutions, enterprises, and non-profit organizations, e.g. Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energies and Climate Protection of Schleswig-Holstein.

Cooperation is not limited to R&D activities, however, but covers teaching as well, which the university can only achieve mutually in the special subject fields within the environment of Schleswig-Holstein. Trend-setting in this context are the study courses in Industrial Engineering, Business Management ONLINE, and Business Information Systems ONLINE in collaboration with On-campus GmbH at the Lübeck University of Applied Sciences and its partner institutes in Germany and around the Baltic Sea.

Expanding Internationalism

Globalization strongly impacts society’s political, social, ecological, and economic framework. Therefore, Kiel UAS regards internationalization to be a cross-cutting task affecting teaching, research, knowledge transfer, continuous education, and administration. Therefore, the university promotes and is expanding its international relationships with universities, enterprises, and organizations.

The university thrives on diversity. It creates educational processes that are gender-appropriate, intercultural, and non-discriminatory.

Developing Inclusive Culture

Diversity in practice is a quality feature of the university and includes a diversity of disciplines, cultures, nationalities, and learning and teaching methods, which it experiences to be enriching and fostering.

Diversity challenges the university to take different perspectives and respect them. Gender-appropriate teaching and research are essential components of the university. It experiences the diversity of people to be enriching. All people studying or working at the Kiel University of Applied Sciences experience the best possible conditions to develop themselves and their talents in an environment that continually develops a culture of respect and is characterized by the appreciation and recognition of every single person.

The university accepts its cultural remit in both its city suburb and the region.

Flawless Infrastructure

Kiel University of Applied Sciences is located in a historic part of Kiel. Consequently, obligations derive therefrom. The Computer Museum, the Media Dome and the Observatory, the Bunker-D as well, and the old Howaldt Foundry House nearby have enabled the university to become a supporter of culture in the urban district of Kiel-Dietrichsdorf and on the eastern bank of the Kiel Fjord.

The intention is to expand this task and make it a university characteristic. Practical diversity and the cultural mission allow the university to provide educational processes for the members that go far beyond the acquisition of employability.

Making the Learning Process more interesting

Keeping students engaged is one of the most effective approaches to making learning more interesting. The university tries to maintain it in the following ways

  • Student projects such as Raceyard (constructing and building a race car and taking part in international Formula Student races) and Förderacer (constructing and building sailing boats and pedal boats and participating in international boat races), AUV Team TomKyle (constructing and building Autonomous Underwater Vehicles)
  • Sailing group, university sports
  • Cultural locations and events:
  1. Bunker-D: an old restored bunker with cinema, café/ bar, gallery, etc.
  2. Computer museum (history of computers)
  3. Media Dome: 360° planetarium

USPs of Kiel UAS

  • Programmes such as MINT4girls (MINT = mathematics, information technologies, natural sciences, technology) bring girls to Youth Campus, an experience place where schoolgirls can get to know the (engineering) study programmes, students and lecturers and find out if it’s the right thing for them.
  • Orientierungssemester Förde-Kompass: An orientation semester prior to degree courses for engineering degree programs. Students can try out different majors and find out which course suits them best.
  • First-semester project startIng!: Students from the engineering degree courses come together and work on solutions for real-world problems and challenges from industry partners.

Providing Unique Courses  

In the interdisciplinary Master’s programme in Data Science, students do not only learn to create predictive models using machine learning and artificial neural networks (AI). They also develop a broader understanding of how topics such as data management, processing, analysis and visualization can be profitably used in data science projects.

Data protection and security are also important subjects of the programme. Course contents are taught using real-world use cases, state-of-the-art technologies, and programming languages. Data Science graduates are perfectly prepared to create data-driven innovations in a wide variety of industries.

Media engineering, a unique Bachelor’s programme, combines media (design), engineering and information technologies (programming). Amongst other things, students learn how to code, engineer and design games, web applications and AR/VR applications. Graduates act as intermediaries between the different disciplines and are ideally prepared to work in diverse, interdisciplinary teams.

 Long List of Achievements

  • 1969: Kiel University of Applied Sciences is founded
  • 1989: The foundation of CIMTT: Institute for Production Engineering and CIM Technology Transfer at Kiel University of Applied Sciences
  • 1995: Foundation of FuE GmbH, the university’s own research and development Gmbh
  • 2006: First-semester project start! is introduced: students from engineering degree courses come together in interdisciplinary teams and develop solutions for real industry problems
  • 2009: Establishment of IDW (interdisciplinary weeks): performed every semester, two weeks of classes, study trips etc., free to choose from
  • 2015: Set-up of the digital factory
  • 2016: The foundation of ZLL (Center for Learning and Teaching Development) – continuing education for lecturers and professors
  • 2021: Introduction of the interdisciplinary project ‘Studieren unter Segeln’ (Studying Under Sails). This unique interdisciplinary project brings together students and lecturers from various faculties on a sail training vessel. Over the course of one week, the students develop personally, grow together as a team, get to know the sailing basics and work on a research project, often related to climate change and sustainability.

Finding Solutions to Global Challenges

The university provides valuable advice to students:

 “Looking for practice-based studies by the sea? Want to work on interdisciplinary projects? Want to tailor the schedule to your own interests and needs in order to provide solutions for the global challenges of the future? Keen on living and studying where others go on holiday? Then studying at Kiel UAS is just the right thing for you.”

Future of Kiel UAS

The university has two major things to be achieved in the near future:

  • Forecasting more internationals, even more, interdisciplinary programmes,
  • More collaborations with surroundings and city districts.

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