Prof. Steinbach was a rector in times of transition of TU Berlin from a GDR university to a GER university. Now, he reflects the path of transition and shares his experience.
His contribution will focus on the experience and challenges of this transition and present practices from the point of view of a university leader. Many universities of former socialist countries face similar challenges, and so the case of TU Berlin might be a success story of the transition. The question is just whether it would also be applicable in other countries, like for example Slovenia.
The TU Berlin has recently reshaped its profile again and updated its guiding principles for the university's development until the year of 2020. This has been the third time since German re-unification in 1990. The re-unification as such, the Bologna reform, the accelerating competition amongst institutes of higher education accompanied by increasing financial constraints - especially for state funded universities - and last but not least the necessity to play an elementary role in innovation processes to solve societal problems of today and tomorrow are prominent examples causing an institution to undergo such evaluations. These underlying motives are accompanied by the general observation, that globalisation is not only governing markets and economies but also research and education.
In this contribution general characteristics of the transition processes resulting from the evaluations mentioned as well as their specificities for the TU Berlin will be presented. The processes to be presented range from introducing financial autonomy and the resulting necessity to adjust governance structures, the introduction of cost and activity accounting to the world of academia, the need to conduct science marketing, the development of concepts of internationalisation finally to the need to implement an entrepreneurial culture at universities.
He is an engineering chemist and started his career in industry, before entering the higher education career. He advanced within the TU Berlin and was a dean before becoming president of this well-reputed university. He filled many high-ranking functions in different association or organisations, repsectively.
He was the President of "European Society for Engineering Education" (SEFI – Société Européenne pour la Formation des Ingénieurs), Deputy Chairman of the executive board of Accreditation Agency for Degree Programmes in Engineering, Informatics/Computer Science, the Natural Sciences and Mathematics (ASIIN) and is also honorary doctor at City University London, as well as East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai (ECUST) and National University of Water Management and Nature Resources Use, Rivne, Ukraine.