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Tomorrow University of Applied Sciences is Now a State-Recognized University

Wiebke Lamer

Tomorrow University of Applied Sciences is Now a State-Recognized University

This week the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science, and the Arts awarded Tomorrow University of Applied Sciences the status of state-recognized university. This means that ToU has been given the green light to operate as a University in the State of Hessen, confirming that ToU, among other things, is ready to carry out teaching and research at the university level, ensure academic freedom and issue degrees. In addition, this news means that ToU is the first EdTech startup in Germany to gain state-recognition as a university. 

How did we get to this important milestone on Tomorrow’s path to educating and empowering future change makers?

The process of gaining the status of a state-recognized university in Germany is a long and complex one. The foundation for this milestone was already laid at the end of 2020, soon after serial entrepreneurs, Christian Rebernik and Dr. Thomas Funke launched Tomorrow’s Education and decided to not stop there, but build an accredited, state-recognized university to educate the change makers of tomorrow. 

The first step was to build a concept for a new, remote-first university focusing on challenge-based education that would meet the requirements that are set out by German federal and state legislation for educational institutions at the university level, while also realizing the vision of creating a university that utilizes the benefits of today’s technology and moves away from traditional teaching and towards active learning. This was not an easy, or small, undertaking and took many months of hard work of conception, development, and writing by the ToU team and their supporters. 

The concept was then evaluated in detail based on a catalog of documents and an audit in January 2022 by members of the German Wissenschaftsrat (Science Council). Several months of waiting followed while the Wissenschaftsrat checked everything from the coherence and strength of the learning concept to the soundness of ToUs financial planning. In June, we learned that the Wissenschaftsrat gave the University for a better tomorrow a positive evaluation, deciding that the ToU concept meets the scientific standards of a University of Applied Sciences, specifically highlighting its innovative learning model.

Not everything was quite perfect yet, however, and we had more tasks to complete over the Summer as we worked together with the Hessian Ministry to align our university governance structure with recommendations provided by the Wissenschaftsrat. Once that was completed, only one more hurdle remained before we could apply for state-recognition: ensuring that the necessary provisions were in place to enable admitted students to complete their studies. This process was completed in August in close collaboration with the Hessian ministry, followed by the announcement of ToUs official recognition as a University by the State of Hessen.  

Parallel to the institutional accreditation, ToU also went through a process to accredit its three Bachelor’s Degree programs through the German Accreditation Council, which is another prerequisite for state-recognition. The Accreditation Council ensures the quality of teaching and learning at German higher education institutions and has, among other things, the task of deciding on the accreditation of study programs on the basis of expert reports. These expert reports were provided through FIBAA, a nationally and internationally experienced agency for quality assurance in higher education, which worked closely with the Tomorrow team to meet the standards of the Accreditation Council. 

Program accreditation for the B.A. in Responsible Entrepreneurship, B.A. in Sustainable Product Management, and B.Sc. in AI & Sustainable Technologies were awarded earlier in the Summer and with that, we took another important step towards officially launching Tomorrow University of Applied Sciences. 

Following almost two years of dedicated work to gain accreditation and state-recognition, we are delighted and proud for having reached this goal and are excited to launch our three Bachelor’s Degree programs with a group of motivated future change makers at the beginning of October. We will be celebrating these major milestones at the official ToU launch event on September 29th, 2022 in Frankfurt. Check our YouTube channel soon after to see the keynote speakers, panel discussions, and announcements from the event.

We continue to offer the Professional Master in Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, and Technology in partnership with the WU Executive Academy. Our latest program offerings include Open Challenges where participants get a taste of challenge-based learning and the ToU approach alongside an international community. Our Impact Degree in GreenTech in partnership with RWTH Aachen is designed for students to build solutions to reverse the effects of human activity on the environment. Watch the Co-Founders of ToU talk about the mission behind the University and visit our website to join our community of changemakers.

Learn more about us and our programs.

Wiebke Lamer

Create a Better Tomorrow

Tomorrow University of Applied Sciences students

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