Providing an example in the field of teaching: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz receives the Genius Loci Award for Excellence in Teaching

Mainz University convinced the jury with its consistent and sustainable implementation of its Teaching Strategy and its openness to teaching innovations in all fields of university education

30 October 2018

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has received the Genius Loci Award for Excellence in Teaching. Through this award, which was presented for the first time in 2017, Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and the Volkswagen Foundation are acknowledging JGU's achievements in the promotion and consistent further development of teaching, in particular the university's Teaching Strategy as well as the scope and incentives provided to further innovation in teaching. "The university has successfully added significant value to academic teaching. Its mandatory qualification programs for newly appointed teaching staff and the encouragement and support for the promotion of innovation in teaching provided by the Gutenberg Teaching Council are impressive. JGU clearly demonstrates that a comprehensive university can adopt the guiding principles of the Genius Loci Award by applying its strategy on a broad basis all over the university," constituted the jury consisting of teaching staff, students, and university management representatives. The award is worth EUR 20,000 and will be used to invite a Visiting Scholar of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education to Mainz University. JGU was already shortlisted for the award in 2017.

"Having been nominated again and now actually winning the Genius Loci Award is a recognition of JGU’s commitment to continuously improving teaching methods and learning conditions, a core aspect defined in our JGU Mission Statement and practiced on a daily basis in every department and institute at our university," emphasized Professor Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. The Senate of Mainz University adopted the JGU Teaching Strategy in 2010, supplemented by the Aspects of Good Teaching recommendations. At the same time, the Gutenberg Teaching Council (GTC) was founded, which is a panel of teaching experts advising the university on the continued development of teaching, the ongoing improvement of individual teaching skills, and the realization of new teaching ideas and concepts. All of these components contribute towards a comprehensive overall concept of strategic objectives with a corresponding academic organization that documents the importance of teaching at JGU and the existence of an environment that inspires innovation in teaching.

"We set great store by treating research and teaching equally. Hence, we have always ensured this is reflected in the structures and processes at our university," added the JGU President. "This way Mainz University demonstrates the importance it accords to excellence in university teaching both to its members and the outside world. Moreover, it also shows that we consider excellent teaching and excellent research to be mutually beneficial and supportive."