Ruhr University Bochum

Bochum, Germany

RUB was the first university established in the industrial Ruhr-Area in 1965 with the purpose to give cultural, social and scientific impulses for the region and, especially, to educate non-traditional students.





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The University

  • Established in 1965 as the first institution of higher learning and research in the Ruhr Area (the most densely populated area in Germany then and now) as part of various measures to address the challenges of structural change.
  • Traditionally has a strong focus on and success in educating non-traditional students (52 % of RUB students come from non-academic backgrounds)
  • Today RUB draws research and technological production companies to the area, and it works closely together with the city of Bochum in developing a technology campus and other facilities.
  • 14% of BA, 20 % of MA and 16% of doctoral students at RUB are international.
  • The university has been supporting refugee students and researchers, it is a founding member of the German branch of Scholars at Risk: In the current refugee crisis, RUB has taught ca. 1.000 refugees in preparatory courses, has by now ca. 800 refugee students, runs a program to train refugee teachers, and shelters scholars at risk.

The City

  • Only in the middle of the 19th century, the by then quaint city of Bochum, like the whole Ruhr Area, turned into a centre of coal mining and steel production.
  • Severely destroyed at the end of World War Two, mining and steel were instantly revived afterwards. Yet, with their decline in the 1960s, the city underwent two major structural changes with all the accompanying side effects of unemployment, financial decline and anxiety.
  • First, Bochum moved to large-scale car and, for a briefer period, cell phone production. Since both production lines weakened and, finally, closed down (2014 and 2008, respectively), the university has now become the most important employer and economic factor in Bochum.
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Ruhr University Bochum and UNIC

The cooperation within UNIC will strengthen Ruhr Universität Bochum (RUB) in her ongoing strategical activities and adds the following values:

  • Unlocking a European learning experience for RUB, and in particular for its non-traditional students.
  • Creating a European University with impact.
  • Creating the inclusive universities of the future.
  • Creating a strong bond with likeminded European research universities.

Aims and Activities

RUB aims at excellence in research and teaching by creating knowledge networks on a local, regional, and international level. In particular, the following activities of RUB are relevant for UNIC:

  • The extensive networks, knowledge and expertise of Bochum with regard to different types of mobility (physical, virtual and blended mobility) are useful for the UNIC mobility strategy.
  • Focus on societal impact. RUB was the first university established in the industrial Ruhr-Area in 1965 with the purpose to give cultural, social and scientific impulses for the region and, especially, to educate non-traditional students. As an institution, RUB is actively and sustainably committed to the integration of refugees. As one of the first universities in Germany, RUB established special programs that prepare students with refugee background for studying at a university.
  • Partnership with the City. RUB has developed a very close partnership with the City of Bochum and the other universities in the City of Bochum. This has already led to the establishment of various projects which are integrated in UNIC CityLabs.
  • Worldfactory is one of the central transfer and founding projects of Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Both academics and students receive competent advice, rooms and infrastructure for practical testing and networking opportunities. Worldfactory offers a strong combination between new promising ideas, support and (seed) capital. Worldfactory will be used as a good practice to further develop and sustain the outcomes and results of the UNIC University.
  • Educational innovation: RUB was one of the first universities in Germany implanting bachelor & master degrees. Its learning and teaching mission and the institutional strategy to promote research-oriented teaching aims to empower students for their future professional life and civic engagement. RUB is well known for its student-centred approach to the development of teaching strategies and formats and is one of a few German universities with a strategy, a concept, a support structure and central funding that enables students to initiate the development of their own courses up to the point where they can be credited within the standard curriculum. This knowledge and expertise will be used to further develop and sustain the UNIC outcomes and results.

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