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10/16/2023 | Press Release

University of Kassel welcomes freshmen - New venue in the city center

Not only thousands of first-year students will get to know the University of Kassel in the upcoming winter semester, it will also be easier than ever for the population of the city and region to come into contact with science at the university: The university in northern Hesse will soon open a branch in downtown Kassel.

Image: Sonja Rode

With the UNI:Lokal in Wilhelmsstraße, an open event and exhibition space is being created as a link to urban society. At the same time, the SDG+ Lab, a regional sustainability laboratory, will move in there. It will present itself to the public from November 15 to 18, 2023, with an opening festival lasting several days. 

"It is our aspiration to have an impact on society with our research results," emphasized University President Prof. Dr. Ute Clement. "This applies not only, but especially, to everything that contributes to a more sustainable world. The upheavals we are facing are enormous. We should tackle them together. That's why we invite all interested parties to join us in conversation at the new UNI:Lokal."  

Teaching at German universities is also marked by upheavals. Teachers and students will address the impact of artificial intelligence on their studies in a themed week entitled "AI in Teaching" from November 6 to 10. For one week, AI will be the central topic in every course, and there will also be discussion events at the Campus Center on Holländischer Platz and at the Kunsthochschule.

Ute Clement welcomed the new students to Kassel University. The president called on the young people to actively participate in KI Week and to stay involved with the university for the duration of their studies. "University thrives on participation," she said, referring to university autonomy. "Universities are also schools of democracy, where civil and public-spirited forms of decision-making are practiced."

The trend of declining student numbers continues this year. According to preliminary figures, 21,842 students are enrolled at the University of Kassel in the beginning winter semester (in 22/23 there were 23,006). 4,311 young people are studying in their first semester (4,637). The number of international students is 2,976 (3,135). All figures are preliminary and could still increase slightly. Exact data are expected in mid-November.

"On the one hand, the lower number of enrollees opens up opportunities to serve students more closely," commented Ute Clement. "On the other hand, we want to stabilize the scale in which we are now operating, even though this will not be made easier by demographics and employers' increased search for trainees and skilled workers. We have already taken steps to achieve this: For example, we are stepping up course marketing and specifically recruiting good minds; we have set up a dedicated marketing unit for this purpose. We are also continuously updating our range of degree programs."

For master's students, the university is offering a new English-language master's degree in Agriculture, Ecology and Societies this year: It combines agricultural sciences with knowledge in economics and social sciences and prepares graduates for jobs in associations or in projects of the agricultural turnaround. In addition, some courses of study have been redesigned, such as the bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, which has been completely renewed and strengthened, among other things, with a focus on sustainability and digitization.

You can see a video message of the president here.