Innovative Teaching Schemes and Structures
The University of Cologne offers its students a wide variety of degree courses, including double-degree programmes with renowned partners, for example in law with the Sorbonne (Paris). All programmes aim at providing a high level of education and training that prepares students for a career in academic research and/or other professions.
Currently the majority of students (out of 47,467) are enrolled in four profession-oriented areas: business administration, law, medicine, and teacher education. In particular, with about 14,000 students enrolled in study programmes for all types of teachers and school subjects, the University of Cologne is one of the largest teacher training institutions in Europe. Thus, the university has taken major steps to better address the individual career needs of its students by exploring new concepts for both research- and profession-oriented education.
In 2008, the University of Cologne’s Professional Center was founded to provide profession-oriented and general courses and trainings, to offer career advice, and to facilitate the transition from university studies to professional practice.
The Center for Teacher Education (ZfL)
The Center for Teacher Education (ZfL) coordinates and supports all aspects relevant to teacher training at the University of Cologne. It cooperates with the German Sport University Cologne and Cologne University of Music and Dance.
The ZfL is responsible for coordinating students’ practice phases and provides guidance during their orientation and occupational internships and supports them in their work on the “Protfolio Praxiselemente”.
The ZfL’s Joint Examination Office for Teacher Training Studies organizes and safeguards observance and compliance with the Joint Examination Regulations for Teacher Training Studies.
In the framework of its own graduate school, the ZfL supports young academics in subject didactics and educational sciences.
Advanced Quality Management System for Teaching
Five years ago, an advanced quality management system for teaching was implemented. It has brought about remarkable improvements in the quality of teaching and training, study programmes, and student services. These efforts were complemented by funding schemes and reward systems for excellent teaching performance. The rector’s programme "Innovation in Studying and Teaching" has provided 4 million Euros over the last two years for the exploration of innovative and contemporary teaching concepts.
Excellent Career Opportunities
UoC graduates have excellent career opportunities to reach top-level positions in the professional market. For example, in the ranking of the journal Wirtschaftswoche, which is based on a survey of personnel managers at top German companies, the UoC took 3rd and 2nd place among Germany’s universities in business administration and economics, respectively. The well-recognized CEMS network, of which the UoC is the German representative, has recently been ranked number 1 in the Financial Times World Ranking of masters programmes in management.
High School Students at the University
Nearly a decade ago, the UoC launched the pioneering project “High School Students at the University”. This project is aimed at highly motivated school pupils who are encouraged to participate in lectures at the university. For this they are awarded credit points in advance, thereby considerably shortening the duration of their (future) undergraduate training. Since this innovative programme was so successful, many other universities have also now adopted it.