Press release | 26 August 2021 | cca

How is higher education changing through new forms of research with society?

Invitation to symposium and book presentation on 9 September 2021 from 10:00

The recently published Handbuch Transdisziplinäre Didaktik (“Handbook for Transdisciplinary Didactics”) explores different perspectives on how transdisciplinarity, i.e. joint research with non-academic stakeholders in society, impacts on teaching and what the areas of application are. At a symposium and book presentation, Professor Dr. Christine Ahrend, 1st vice president of Technische Universität (TU) Berlin, and other experts will discuss how higher education is moving away from fixed locations such as lecture halls, and how knowledge is being produced, negotiated and transformed in new ways.

Berlin is increasingly becoming a hub for joint research with non-academic actors. To mark the publication of the Handbuch Transdisziplinäre Didaktik, TU Berlin is teaming up with Universität Hamburg and transcript (independent academic publishing) to host an expert dialog on how higher education in transition can be brought together with transformative science.

We cordially invite you to take part in the symposium and book presentation:

Teaching and learning in the context of transformative science: How to structure the panorama of transdisciplinary didactics

9 September 2021

10 to 16:30: Symposium
17 to 22:00: Book presentation

Ernst-Reuter-Platz, 10587 Berlin, bauhaus "reuse", as well as on Zoom and YouTube


This is a hybrid event, with participants attending both in person and via livestream to ensure high numbers despite Covid restrictions. Members of the press are invited to attend in person. Interested students and stakeholders who would like to understand the current developments in higher education are invited to listen and join the discussion on Zoom or YouTube. Please sign up for the event by writing to: fabien.j.boettcher(at) Registered participants will receive the link to the Zoom meeting by email.

The book's editors are Dr. Thorsten Philipp, advisor for transdisciplinary teaching to the TU Berlin Executive Board, and educational researcher Dr. Tobias Schmohl, senior researcher at the Hamburg Center for University Teaching and Learning at Universität Hamburg.


The focus of the Expert Dialog from 10 to 16:30 will be on approaches to embedding research among non-academic actors in society. These approaches are leading to fundamental changes in the practice of teaching and learning. Until the turn of the millennium, lecture halls and seminar rooms were the most important academic learning spaces, but today higher education is increasingly associated with new concepts such as FabLabs, living labs, service learning and citizen science.

At 17:00, Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen, president of Technische Universität Berlin, will receive the first copy of the Handbuch Transdisziplinäre Didaktik and open the book presentation. Michael Müller, governing mayor of Berlin and senator for science and research, has also been invited to speak. Professor Dr. Christine Ahrend, 1st vice president for research, appointment strategy and knowledge & technology transfer at TU Berlin, will provide some further words of welcome. A keynote speech by sociologist Professor Dr. Dirk Baecker of Witten/Herdecke University will explore the transformation of science and academia and its consequences in terms of how we might think about higher education in the future.

About the handbook

The handbook is a reference work for students, lecturers, university partners and all those interested in the current changes in research and teaching. With contributions and support from 48 preeminent experts and 35 academic reviewers, the book explains how higher education works when science-led collaboration with practitioners is the norm. The aim is to contribute to new understandings and definitions: What exactly is a living lab? How does service learning work? What is the purpose of internships, citizen science and dual studies? Developed with the support of the Berlin University Alliance, the publication is the first volume in transcript's new series on higher education and research.


Tobias Schmohl / Thorsten Philipp (eds.): Handbuch Transdisziplinäre Didaktik ed. with equal contribution



Thorsten Philipp

Transdisciplinary Teaching

+49 (0)30 314-29835