Students and teacher in the laboratory at Ernst Abbe University Jena. - © Sebastian Reuter

Inter-university project strengthens the attractiveness of engineering education in Thuringia

Today more than ever, sustainability is a key topic in engineering education. Thuringia's universities have made significant progress in the field of sustainability in recent years. Nevertheless, there has so far been a lack of overarching initiatives for the targeted integration of sustainability into engineering degree courses. This is where the ThüLeNa project comes in, utilizing the synergetic profiles and expertise of seven renowned Thuringian universities.

The coordinating university of the project is the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences (EAH) Jena. Together with Bauhaus University Weimar, Erfurt University of Applied Sciences, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences, Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences and Ilmenau University of Technology, digital modules on sustainability-related topics are to be developed and integrated into the universities' teaching. Ideally, these modules should be able to be combined into a cross-university certificate program that offers students an additional qualification in the field of sustainability.

The ThüLeNa project is aimed at both students and lecturers. Low-threshold teaching materials on the topic of sustainability are created and teachers at the participating universities are trained in the field of education for sustainable development. With this comprehensive strategy, the project is helping to make engineering education in Thuringia more attractive in the long term.

"The ThüLeNa project is a pioneering step for Thuringia as an educational location and underlines the commitment of the participating universities to future-oriented, sustainable education. All partners are looking forward to the successful implementation of the project and the associated strengthening of engineering education in the Free State of Thuringia," says project coordinator Prof. Dr. Frank Pothen from the EAH Jena.

"Engineering can make an important contribution to sustainability through innovation and the efficient use of resources. To ensure that technical developments also satisfy sustainability aspects, we need specialists who have both in-depth specialist knowledge and sustainability skills. That is why we support the anchoring of this topic in all engineering universities in Thuringia," says Dr. Felix Streiter, Managing Director of the Carl Zeiss Foundation.