05/17/2019 | News

Kassel Uni­ver­si­ty awar­ded for ex­cel­lent teaching

Again, the University of Kassel has been awarded with the Hessian University Prize for Excellence in Teaching. On May 16th two of the four awards were presented by the Hessian Minister of Science, Angela Dorn, to Kassel University. The prize was awarded for an international online seminar in English language and literature and for the reconstruction of historical exhibitions in virtual reality.

Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Hemken (centre) and Simon-Lennert Raesch (right) design digital reconstructions of exhibitions. With the help of VR glasses, the documenta of 1955 can also be visited again. Image: Sebastian Mense.
Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Hemken (centre) and Simon-Lennert Raesch (right) design digital reconstructions of exhibitions. With the help of VR glasses, the documenta of 1955 can also be visited again.
Image: HMWK.
Science Minister Angela Dorn (from left), prizewinners Wiebke Ost and Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner, laudator Maximilian Kafanke.

"We know that Kassel University is a place of good teaching and new ideas," said Prof. Dr. René Matzdorf, Vice President for Studies and Teaching. "It is still good to see it confirmed from the outside and we are more than happy for our lecturers to receive such a top-class award for their commitment. This also shows that the support offered by central departements at our university is also effective". Both projects were financially supported and sponsored by the “Central Teaching Support Department” of the University of Kassel.

Minister Dorn awarded the second prize in the working group category to the "Online Educational Initiatives" project. Student teachers and master students from Kassel will join Jewish and Arab students from various universities in Israel for joint virtual seminars.

Under the direction of the Kassel Anglicist Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner (foreign language teaching and learning research and intercultural communication), the participants will be working in international teams on case studies, design educational projects and develop websites or wikis with educational content. This "Distance Learning" will help the prospective teachers to acquire intercultural and linguistic skills as well as didactic skills and they will be able to learn how to use new media and teaching formats in class. In addition to Finkbeiner, Wiebke Sophie Ost (tutor) and Marcel Foerster (tutor) are also part of the project. The second prize is endowed with 30,000 euros.


Visit the first documenta again in 1955


In the same category, the project "The Virtual Dimension" gets the third prize, which combines research and teaching. With the support of computer scientists, students of art history recreate historical art exhibitions in virtual reality (VR). For example, they are involved in the reconstruction of the first documenta in 1955 or the legendary International Art Exhibition in Dresden in 1926. This is preceded by intensive research in archives and literature. In this context, students learn how to use VR technology and cooperate with IT specialists, while at the same time researching curatorial practice in the past and present. The project is led by Dr. Kai-Uwe Hemken, Professor of Modern Art History at the Kunsthochschule Kassel (Art school, part of the University of Kassel), and Simon-Lennert Raesch, a member of staff at the Software Engineering department. This third prize is worth 15,000 euros.

The Hessian University Prize is awarded in the categories 'Working Group' (1st to 3rd Prize) and 'Student Initiative' (1st Prize). Last year, the University of Kassel received three out of four awards, and the year before, University Kassel has won one prize. A total of 15 teaching prizes went to Kassel in the past ten years. The prize is awarded for outstanding and innovative teaching achievements and is endowed with a total of 115.000 euros. It has a nationwide reputation. Every state university in Hesse can participate.



Sebastian Mense

University of Kassel

Communication, press and public relations work

Phone: +49 561 804-1961