Prof. Ludwig Hilmer
Rector of Mittweida University (until 2023)
What we do
As Mittweida’s first independent qualification program for researchers on their way to a UoAS professorship, we support a maximum of eight team members on three different levels of their academic careers.
This way, we pave the road directly towards appointment eligibility. Once a team member has become eligible, new team members may be added.
How we do it
Scientific qualifications by virtue of a doctorate degree and several years of work experience outside of academia – the double requirements for future professors at universities of applied sciences are known. University didactic skills expand this list of requirements, and of course the junior researchers do not only have to be an expert in their own discipline, but have to provide an interdisciplinary portfolio facilitating out of the box-thinking.
These manifold requirements pose several difficulties for scholars, especially in young and dynamic research fields. Either scientifically qualified candidates lack the work experience, or the experienced workers lack the option for scientific qualification.
Moreover, Mittweida University of Applied Sciences is competing for junior researchers within the industry (where candidates tend to be paid well) and within academia. Recruiting junior researchers is, therefore, a big challenge that Mittweida University faces.
UoAS need excellent young professors, scientifically qualified with several years of work experience in the industry.
NextGen shapes them.
Prof. Dr. Ramona Kusche
Mittweida faces the challenges posed in terms of junior staff recruitment with its own qualification program:
NextGen is one of three Saxon and 64 German UoAS concepts chosen by a selection committee of the Joint Scientific Conference for funding within the framework of the federal-and-state program FH Personal.
The NextGen Advancement Concept
One of the key qualification approaches of NextGen is a strong focus on peer learning and knowledge transfer across discipline boundaries and career levels. The heterogeneous professional orientation of the individual team members is the foundation and idea pool for joint, cross-university projects of the NextGen team.
The program receives external impulses by virtue of external coachings and qualification offers as well as yearly external evaluations.
The team members ensure knowledge transfer past university borders by participating in (international) conferences and regularly publishing their work.
The project is heterogenous and interdisciplinary, which is one of its key characteristics.
Peer-learning is a central concept for us.
Dr. Angela Freche
The focus is set not only on the academic training of professional and didactic development, but also on work experience qualifications. That way, researchers develop their career with the goal of professorial appointment eligibility firmly in mind. Once team members are eligible, new members can be added to the team.
In the long run, NextGen will develop the professorial staff of Mittweida University by means of lifelong qualification measures. For the pilot phase, innovative, cross-sectional research areas were identified: digital platform economics, applied data monitoring, network analysis and turbulence management in communication, digital forensics, teaching and learning technologies during the digital transformation, as well as interdisciplinary assistance systems and inclusion.
Individual target agreements are regularly negotiated with each team member. These are made up of three qualification areas that lead to appointability. They are “research and transfer”, “teaching and didactics” and “professional experience and practical projects”.
The name says it all.
Here comes the next generation!