Since its establishment in 2003, ZU and its many members have stood out. Thus the institution was awarded with the title of "Innovative Location in the Land of Ideas", amongst others, in 2006 and 2008. It was one of the winners of the national subsidy program "Mehr als Forschung und Lehre – Hochschulen in der Gesellschaft" ("More than Research and Teaching – Colleges in Society") in 2011. Many ZU students and graduates have won high-profile prizes with their innovative and socially relevant activities and start-up businesses. ZU's researchers are sought-after experts and members of numerous national and international panels.
The interdisciplinary research and teaching at our university is also mirrored in the origin and diversity of our employees. Be they academics, service employees, administration staff, or trainees, they are all integrated into our environment – an environment influenced not only by a thirst for knowledge, dedication, and colleagueship, but also by passion for one's work. Even if (or particularly if) the job is done with the utmost dedication, it can only be rewarding if the right balance exists between one's working life and one's private life. We support our employees to this effect in that we offer flexible working hours, we give longer holidays than the minimum statutory entitlement and we try as much as possible to arrange the semester dates around the holidays. We are glad to help our employees find accommodation or to help them to arrange childcare.
"Because of its small size and its culture, ZU is a very informal university. You know all of your students by name and you co-operate in research and teaching with colleagues from other subject areas. The infrastructure – the research funding, for instance – is exemplary."
Jun Prof Dr Marian Adolf | Chair of Media CultureProf Dr Marian Adolf | Chair of Media Culture
The awarding of this seal of quality was also based on the existing schemes which contribute towards family-friendly working conditions for both workers and students – like, for example, the very flexible working hours, individualized timetables, allowance of family-related time off, the integration of the topic area into teaching and research and the promoting of a family-friendly culture.
On top of this, ZU is a member of 2 Careers – the Dual Career Network of the Lake Constance area. The "audit familienrechte hochschule" is an initiative of the non-profit Hertie Foundation, sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women, and Children by means of European social funds. With the awarding of the certificate, the college in question has the right to use the associated signet which is protected Europe-wide. At the same time, the audited college is certified as having taken on social responsibility, fulfilling legal demands relating to sexual equality and facilitating students and employees who have family responsibilities.
A special characteristic of ZU is, without doubt, its location directly on the beach. A beach which is located in Friedrichshafen on the edge of Lake Constance, in a region which is excellently equipped for the actively emergent "Battle of the Regions". However, the Lake Constance region is not just attractive for its scenery and sporting facilities. In terms of its commercial strength and its culture of innovation it is one of the leading economic regions in Europe.
"ZU gives me the opportunity and the responsibility to plan and carry out special events. Freedom and self discipline and a passion for science and young, inquisitive minds – simply put, it's more than just a job."
Petra Diesch | University Events
On top of this, outstanding research is being carried out in this tri-border area – research in which ZU collaborates with many other institutions. The Exzellenz Universität ("University of Excellence") in Konstanz is a boat ride away, the universities in St. Gallen and Zürich are within easy reach and the "Internationale Bodensee Hochschule" (a network of universities in the Lake Constance region) provides a constant exchange of innovative ideas. The Fraunhofer Society as well as many other first-class international researchers and universities are regular exchange partners and participate in joint projects.
It is also noteworthy that – in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany – Lake Constance connects three countries which converge at ZU with their international partners in a fascinating mix of cultures.
ZU is a learning university. All members of the university, be they academics, administration staff, associates, sponsors, or students make the university what it is – a place of stimulation in which individual passions and abilities can develop as much through learning and research as through the availability of outstanding academic facilities. ZU offers a highly dynamic, inspiring and professional environment with good opportunities for development, over 250 dedicated colleagues and more than 1,200 interested students.
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