TH Köln – new name, specific ambitions

Prof. Dr. Klaus Becker, Anna Fitz, Prof. Dr. Sylvia Heuchemer, Marius Barzynski und Prof. Andreas Wrede   (Image: Thilo Schmülgen/TH Köln)

On September 1, 2015 the Cologne University of Applied Sciences changed its name to TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences). The new name is the result of an intensive university-wide process through which the self-image and strategic orientation of the institution was re-evaluated and re-adjusted.

"As TH Köln we want to help define a new kind of university. Our goal is to be known for our advanced educational methods, our strength as a research institution and our international orientation. We share a common mandate: to make science relevant  for business, culture, and civil society," stressed Vice President Prof. Dr. Klaus Becker, speaking on behalf of the entire University Governance Committee.

The goal: cultural and technological breakthroughs of high societal relevance

"The mantra of our work going forward will be 'cultural and technological breakthroughs of high societal relevance'," Vice President Prof. Dr. Sylvia Heuchemer further emphasized. New products, services, and technology are only sustainable, effective, and relevant if their impact on society, as well as the complex social dynamics involved, are taken into account during the developmental phase. "We want to produce scientific contributions in areas important for our future: climate change, demographic development, health, food security, scarcity of resources and energy supply. To that end, we are involved in collaborative projects with regional, national, and international partners," Heuchemer said.

Interactions amongst university members should also reflect social innovation. To facilitate this, the TH Köln is taking the old idea of "universitas" and reviving it: teachers and students become partners in the educational process, thus furthering social change. For example, in project-oriented, inspiring didactical methods such as "research-based learning".

The new logo: in-house design as a good example

The development of the new logo and corporate design for the TH Köln is a prime example of how this new approach to university life is being implemented in a concrete way. It was created by students Marius Barzynski, Anna Fitz, and Benedikt Schmitz, under the direction of Prof. Andreas Wrede from the Köln International School of Design, a department of the TH Köln. The new logotype reflects the key elements of the university’s self-perception: on the foundation of a scientific institution, new intellectual and practical approaches unfold, mirrored in the terms Technology, Arts, Sciences. The new logotype is already visible in the university buildings, at the new internet address, on letterhead and in many other locations. By the end of the 2015/16 academic year the old logo is expected to be completely replaced.

"Today is a true milestone in the history of the university; we on the University Council are extremely pleased with the dedication demonstrated by all members of the university, including the students who designed the logo and image. Social innovation as a joint effort has our utmost approval and support," affirmed the Chair of the University Council, Simone Menne. "The next step is to turn this ambitious program into a concrete reality. You can count on our active involvement in this process as advisors, ambassadors, and multipliers."

September 1, 2015