Press Release 16/2008

Learning and Living – The Campus in the Future

Interdisciplinary Project Analyzes Spatial Requirements of Students
Lernort Universität
The university, a place of learning: Needs of students are changing
(Photo by: ORL)

A place of learning or room for cultural and leisure offers? City planners and sociologists from the Universität Karlsruhe (TH) are jointly studying what students expect from their environment at the university: 60 students will document over two weeks how they use the campus. The results of the project ““ can then be used for future regional planning.

Do students go home after lectures or do sports at the university? Do they learn in a group outdoors or alone at the library? Do they spend a few hours or the whole day at the university? Questions like these are covered by the interdisciplinary project ““ of the Institute for Local, Regional, and State Planning (ORL) and the Institute for Sociology. The project is aimed at identifying the requirements students make on the university as a place of learning and at providing information on how this place should be designed.

The study is based on a diary approach: From May 26 to June 08, 60 students will describe in a diary how they move spatially and temporally on the site of the university. “Various study motives and individual situations will play a role”, explains Professor Michaela Pfadenhauer: “Does a person live near the campus or does he/she have to come here from far away in the morning? Does he/she have a well-structured day or a day with much free time?” The sociologist, who studies the acquisition of knowledge at the House of Competence (HoC), also observes changes of requirements in learning itself: “The trend goes to working in the group. For this, we will need appropriate rooms in the future.” The rectorate of the Universität and the HoC are jointly funding this study.

“For the university, the project is a chance to find out what the students need”, says Professor Kerstin Gothe from the ORL. It is not only aimed at identifying deficits. “We also want to set the local strengths – such as the excellent location between the Kaiserstraße and the city forest – into the right light.” This may well be understood literally. Gothe believes, for instance, that the study may result in the development of a light or green concept for the campus. Parallel to ““, the institutes of the Faculty of Architecture are offering several seminars relating to the campus during the summer semester.

The diary, in which the students document their moves at the university, contains a given time schedule as well as an open part for additional remarks, descriptions or photos. The results of this survey shall be published in autumn this year. Afterwards, further interviews e.g. of employees or on the site of the Forschungszentrum might complement the study. The city of Karlsruhe has also expressed its interest in the results.

Students, who wish to keep a campus diary, may apply by e-mail to Alexa Kunz by April 30.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) represents the merger of the Universität Karlsruhe with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. Altogether, it has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros.

The KIT will be an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. KIT shall attract the best experts from all over the world, set new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists, and establish the leading European center in the field of energy research. KIT will assume a leading role in nanosciences worldwide. It is the objective of KIT to be one of the most important cooperation partners of industry.

le, April 16, 2008


Dr. Elisabeth Zuber-Knost
Press Officer
Kaiserstraße 12
76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone: +49 721/608-2089
Fax: +49 721/608-3658

le, April 16, 2008


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Alexa Kunz
Institut für Orts-, Regional- und Landesplanung
Universität Karlsruhe (TH)
Tel.: +49 721 608-3539
Fax: +49 721 608-3734
alexa kunz does-not-exist.soziologie uka de
The photo in the best quality available to us may be requested by
presse does-not-exist.kit edu or phone: +49 721 608-41105.