The “Qualification N” programme at the University of Konstanz – the “N” stands for “Nachhaltigkeit” (“sustainability” in German) – is a collaboration between the university’s student-led Green Office (GO), the Staff Unit Sustainability and the university’s Centre for Transferable Skills. In the context of “Qualification N”, students take courses focusing on sustainability, work on related projects and visit networking events. Students in any study programme can participate and obtain a “sustainability certificate” as an official record of the skills gained upon completion.
Sustainability is a high priority at all levels of the University of Konstanz. It is also a special, interdisciplinary category in the university’s course catalogue, where students can thus find all of the corresponding courses at a glance, including those specifically for the “Qualification N” certificate.
These courses cover a wide range of relevant topics – from “Climate protection and energy, conservation and biodiversity” to “Fairness, equal rights, participation and social cohesion” and “Economic alternatives”, to name a few. They are offered by the university’s Centre for Transferable Skills and the GO, and are ECTS-credited. Students can also enrol in them to gain interdisciplinary transferable skills outside “Qualification N”.
Visiting seminars to learn and discuss topics on sustainability in theory, however, is only one part of “Qualification N”. After participating in an introductory seminar and taking part in at least three of the in-depth courses, the students have to put their newly acquired skills and ideas into action. Whether alone or in groups, students plan, implement and document projects solving problems related to sustainability. This way, they are directly involved in designing solutions for challenges related to sustainability – on campus and beyond.
Another important goal of “Qualification N” is to foster lasting collaboration in the field of sustainability. Regular networking events, where participants from the university can exchange ideas with others in order to establish long-lasting contacts, therefore supplement the programme. Each event has a specific topic and takes place at a special location in or around Konstanz.
Contact: Luisa Hoffmann, Coordinator for Teaching Development “Sustainability”, Staff Unit Sustainability
Photo credits: University of Konstanz