Profile of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
The University of Applied Sciences Potsdam feels particularly committed to advancing social development through the interdisciplinary combination of its range of subjects in the profile lines "Digital Transformation – Urban Futures", "Building Society" and "Designing∙Building∙Preserving" in a perspective of study and teaching, research, transfer and continuing education both regionally and in an international orientation.
Interdisciplinary study & research
The close relationships with partners from the region, as well as from Germany and abroad, enable practice-oriented studies at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam from the very first day. Innovative teaching and research formats give students the opportunity to work together with fellow students and teachers from different departments and study programs. Under the guiding principle of "research-based learning", students can familiarize themselves with the methods of application-oriented research at an early stage.
Experienced, dedicated faculty, staff, well-equipped laboratories, workshops, and event rooms, a modern library, and interactive communication and learning platforms provide excellent conditions for efficient, hands-on study. Students are also allowed to participate in the courses of all Brandenburg universities.
Central and decentralized student advisory services, an International Office and the Central Institution for Start-Up Services and Management Qualifications support students on their way to a successful professional life by providing advice and continuing education.
Not least, the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam also benefits from its location: Potsdam is one of Germany's most important science locations, a city of culture and nestled in a beautiful lake landscape. And the center of Berlin can be reached in about 30 minutes.
As a result of our research activities, the three profile lines Digital Transformation – Urban Futures, Forming Society and Design ∙ Build ∙ Preserve have been established, which address societal challenges and future issues across disciplines.
The profile lines support research-based learning at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, especially in the research-oriented master's programs Urban Futures and Early Childhood Studies Education.
Digital Transformation – Urban Futures
Digitalization and the manifold handling of (digital) data permeate all areas of human coexistence and are both a challenge and an opportunity for overcoming current problems and shaping the future. How transformation can succeed with digital support is particularly evident in questions about the future of cities and their interaction with the surrounding area. The focus is on the demographic, ecological, infrastructural and economic transformation processes that must be pursued to ensure the future viability of urban regions.
An important cross-sectional task within the focus is the topic area of information and visualization. It develops new visualization and interaction formats for science, political consulting as well as the general public and designs new forms of visualization and exploration of multidimensional data in diverse application domains, e.g. in the field of geo- or environmental data as well as for cultural objects for the staging and communication of complex knowledge content as well as for decision support.
The goal is to develop solution approaches for sustainable urban development in the context of construction and housing, mobility and transport as well as demography and social structure. The focus is on the challenge of understanding the complexity of urban development processes and making them clear and comprehensible to relevant stakeholders. This research focus largely coincides with the topics and tasks of the Institute of Applied Sciences Urban Futures (IaF) and bundles corresponding research activities from social, cultural, information, media, engineering and artistic/design disciplines.
Society, like the environment, is constantly changing. Global challenges have regional impacts and existing problems are usually very complex and confusing. Research in the focus area is intended to provide assistance in problem analysis and to develop options for action to solve social and spatial issues.
The research focus "Forming Society" has a certain proximity to the research focus "Digital Transformation – Urban Futures", since on the one hand it addresses the area of tension between individual-centered lifestyles and community-oriented behaviors and consideration, between participation and involvement, and on the other hand also the framework conditions and external factors (e. g. climate change) for social and regional transformations and change processes, as well as established urban development processes (e. g. neighborhood management).
The independence of the research focus is based on the special aspect of the topic of education related to all areas of society and especially early childhood education research. This is represented in the research focus in particular by the active since 2017 PINA (Potsdam Research Institute for Early Learning & Educational Action), an interdisciplinary research association of University of Applied Sciences Potsdam and University of Potsdam on early childhood education and development. PINA sees itself as a competence center for early childhood education research and as a platform for the exchange of research and practice. Central topics are cognitive and social-emotional development, pedagogical interaction and quality development in early education.
Design ∙ Build ∙ Preserve
The University of Applied Sciences Potsdam has a large number of research professors and a diverse infrastructure of laboratories and workshops. Building on this, the interdisciplinary research focus "Design ∙ Build ∙ Preserve" is currently being developed as one of three profile lines of the university. The focus combines engineering, cultural studies, and conservation-restoration perspectives with a design approach, creating a unique interdisciplinary profile with the central question of the future of our past. The research project "Reformblock Berlin", for example, which started in 2021, examines both the future of the reform stock in Germany and the potential for new construction of the "reform block" neighborhood type, accompanied by doctoral theses. The dissertation "Durability & Robustness of alkali-activated mortars for the repair of old concrete" deals in engineering terms with both repair potentials and additions to concrete components in existing buildings, while the unique Database POLYKON deals, for example, with the "conservation of conservation" of plastics in already conserved wall paintings. To this end, research and transfer projects in the profile line "Design ∙ Build ∙ Preserve" are being promoted and strengthened, the infrastructure of laboratories and workshops is being expanded, funds from the Innovation Fund of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam are being used to kick-start research projects, and research professorships and additional academic staff are being financed.
Digital Transformation – Urban Futures
The research focus "Digital Transformation – Urban Futures" develops digital visualisation and interaction formats for the sustainable development of urban regions.
The research focus "Forming Society" examines individual and social behaviour as well as participation and involvement in order to enable people to actively and responsibly shape the future.