The RWTH and the Future

Lernen. Forschen. Machen.


Registration for this course is possible until 04. 11. 2020. Please contact the contact persons Felix Engelhardt or Sofia Eleftheriadi by e-mail. Further information on the registration process can be found in our FAQ.

The registration period for the remaining courses is already closed. If you have not been assigned a place in the project after the end of the assignment and are still interested in participating, please contact sibel.yildirim[@] directly.

(If you have any problems with the registration or with RWTHonline, please contact Mrs. Sibel Yildirim (IPW), also stating your matriculation number:

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Academic Responsibility

Prof. Dr. phil. Stefan Böschen

Chairholder for the research and teaching field “Society and Technology” at HumTec, RWTH Aachen University

Prof. em. Dr. phil. Max Kerner

Chair for Medieval History at the Department of History, RWTH Aachen University


Contact Person





Wednesday, 4:30-6:00 p.m.





Straße Hausnummer


The RWTH Aachen University celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2020. This is a good occasion to reflect on the origins and future of this technical university. 

The demands placed on such educational institutions have changed considerably. In the present, it can no longer be a matter of simply increasing and imparting technical knowledge. Engineers and scientists work in complex, dynamic and conflict-ridden situations. What innovations can be used to solve the global challenges? To what extent will these innovations be technical or rather socio-technical? Ultimately, the question is what it means to work as an engineer now and in the future. What is the image of engineers and scientists of the future? Here, the RWTH has already formulated a clear picture in its excellence strategy: the convergence of disciplines is increasing, their character is changing and this is to be met by the training of T-shaped scientist / engineer. This task is very challenging, so questions arise as to how this can – and should – be done in detail. As if this were not enough change, the framework conditions for teaching and learning are also changing in the wake of the corona pandemic. The more or less complete digitalization of teaching is in contrast to the culture of presence in university teaching. What new ways must be found here? 

This module aims to ask these two questions about the educational goal and the forms of education of future engineers and scientists and to outline perspectives for their answers.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students are able to…

    • … to reflect on their own role as engineers in the course of social change processes.
    • … to characterize the role of the educational institution RWTH in the education of future engineers.
    • … to identify questions of social responsibility in (engineering) scientific action and to concretize them as educational requirements.
    • … to show a reflective understanding of the chances and challenges of interdisciplinary cooperation and the associated demands on one’s own qualifications.
    • … to reflect on the role of technology development in the context of social transformation.
    • … to provide constructive feedback



Kick-off event

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h. c. mult Ulrich Rüdiger (Rector of RWTH)
Prof. Dr. rer. nat Alois Krieg (Vice-Rector for Teaching)

moderated by Prof. Dr. phil. Stefan Böschen



Future and Past

Prof. Dr. phil. Stefan Böschen
Prof. Dr. phil. Max Kerner
Prof. Dr. phil. Elke Seefried (Department of Modern and Contemporary History)

in conversation



Student discussion (1/4)

Focus on: The mission statement of the RWTH 


Student discussion (2/4)

Focus on: Teaching and Learning


Student discussion (3/4)

Focus on: University and Society



Student discussion (4/4)

Interactive workshop in small groups.

Where possible, depending on the risk situation, this event will be held in person. You will find more detailed information during the module.


Dialogue on current Topics

Prof. Dr. Ing. Matthias Wessling (Vice-Rector for Research and Structure)



Closing session

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h. c. mult Ulrich Rüdiger
in conversation with students

moderated by Prof. Dr. phil. Stefan Böschen

Student Discussion

The student discussions serve to give you space to develop your own thoughts, critically discuss the current orientation and work out possible alternatives. There will be three main topics:

  • The mission statement of the university in the future
  • The future of teaching and learning
  • The university as an societal actor 
The  theses developed there will be discussed at the closing session and also presented to the Rectorate in written form. They serve as student impulses for the development of the university.

Procedure/Work method

Depending on the course of studies, module and examination, credit points can be achieved through participation.


Certificate of Participation (0 CP, not graded)
Protocol with critical analysis  (2 CP, not graded)
Essay 10-15 pages (3 CP)
Essay 15-20 pages (4 CP)

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