50, or 49 plus 1 year

The University of Kassel will be celebrating its 50th birthday in 2021. Up till now, the University has mainly been seen as a „young“ institution, but it is now looking back at five decades of development. The „comprehensive university“ of the 1970s has matured into the full-fledged university of today, and over these five decades of university development the institution has gathered a wide range of experiences and undergone substantial changes. And at the same time, it has remained dynamic, diverse and curious. The University of Kassel has established itself as a well-known entity in the educational landscape and is successful in research, teaching and in knowledge transfer. The institution is firmly anchored in the surrounding region and is driving innovation in many fields under the motto „TODAY FOR TOMORROW“. Founded as a „comprehensive university“, it has taken a unique and formative journey to reach its present status as a well-recognised institution of higher learning.

50 years for the University of Kassel – this is an occasion for shared celebration with the region and the people of Kassel, a time to reflect and to look forward to the future. Even though the corona pandemic is having a significant impact on our daily affairs and the in-person university is currently assuming new digital forms, we will find appropriate ways to celebrate this very special anniversary year for the University. Corona could come to be seen as a turning point and the beginning of a new future for the University:  49 plus 1.

If the development of the corona pandemic should make it impossible to stage larger events in the coming year, we will postpone these to 2022. Many of the ways that we best like to celebrate involve bringing people together in person to make merry in a spirit of general revelry. And if this should in fact not be possible, we would rather celebrate somewhat later and then without restrictions – after all, postponed is not abandoned!

The official ceremony for the anniversary will take place on October 29th at the Campus Center at Holländischer Platz. An event that will live up to this momentous occasion and feature many guests and speakers – looking back on past accomplishment and forward to a bright future.  Prof. Dr. Jutta Allmendinger will give the keynote speech. At the reception following this event, guests from the University, from Kassel and the surrounding region will be able to come together.

An unusual exhibition will be opening in October 2021 at the Stadtmuseum Kassel. The art historian Prof. Dr. Martina Sitt will present the innovative and aesthetic dimension of scientific and scholarly processes on the three levels of the museum tower, visualising intriguing questions from research at the University of Kassel: What role, for example, does a Kassel worm play at Netflix, what are researchers seeking to discover with the computer game Assassin’s Creed, and how does a patented tie come into existence? What sorts of complex knowledge will be disseminated in which illustrative ways? Numerous award winners will be contributing to the many-faceted show.

Another exhibition „50 Years in 50 Documents“, starting in November 2021, will tell the story of the University’s development in digital form. The educationalist Prof. Dr. Edith Glaser has brought together visual, textual and auditory sources. The document collection is intended as a historical product, an expandable component of a digital archive as well as an inspiration for educational and sociological research at the University of Kassel.

The Brown Bag Lectures in Winter Semester 2021/22 will present a range of interesting topics in a readily accessible format. At lunchtime, young academics from the University will present their research topics in „Gießhaus” – while the audience can listen and relax and enjoy their American sandwiches offered – as the lecture series is named – in brown paper bags.

A gala concert of the University of Kassel Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Malte Steinsiek in the Martinskirche (St. Martin’s Church, Kassel), is continuing a long-standing tradition.  

A joint visit to the Staatstheater Kassel also has a long tradition at the University of Kassel. Due to the Corona pandemic, we are planning our anniversary theater visit for spring 2022.

In the lecture series „On the Future of the University“ during the Summer Semester 2021/22, the special development of the University of Kassel in the context of a changing German and international university landscape will be considered. The programme content will be organised by the Director of the International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel, Prof. Dr. Georg Krücken. The renowned university researcher will bring educational experts to Kassel who will speak on the history and the future of the University of Kassel. The lectures will take place on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. in the Gießhaus.

The Campusfest (Campus Party) will be the summer’s highlight in 2022. Visitors can expect to encounter science and scholarship in a multitude of up-close forms. Numerous lectures, hands-on activities, science slams and other presentations will show the wide range of topics that the University of Kassel has to offer. A prominent speaker will speak about the mission of the University and address an important societal topic. And finally the summertime celebration will conclude as it always does with lots of music and dancing.

An Employees‘ Party for University employees will be held at the University’s Witzenhausen location and will feature a lively and varied programme. In a relaxed atmosphere it will be possible to meet and exchange views on many topics far removed from everyday work requirements.