DUW’s research programme, like the university’s courses of study, is dedicated to the principle of lifelong learning and to learning while working. DUW combines elements of fundamental research on academic continuing education and general processes of academic teaching and learning with research that is related to applications and goes hand in hand with practice.
DUW has a transdisciplinary research profile with emphasis in the areas of management, education, health care and communication. DUW takes advantage of the potential that arises from the cooperation of these four departments to combine specific experience in continuing education with action-related research.
DUW’s mission is to develop a platform of expertise to investigate, address and overcome core problems of the knowledge society. To this end, the university organizes workshops, conferences and symposia, and forms think tanks on forward-looking topics with the participation of reputed scientists as well as expert practitioners. This makes DUW a creative place for encounters between theory and practice.
The two-way knowledge transfer between university and practice is central to DUW’s research. The principle is evident in the DUW study model, which is designed to involve all students directly in the research activities at the university. As working professionals, they bring issues from the context of their day-to-day work into their studies at DUW, and can expect to find answers in the collective engagement with scientific approaches. This situation lends immediate practical relevance to the departments’ research activities.
Furthermore, the scientific research teams at DUW work in selected areas together with other experts in the various professional fields. This close cooperation between theory and practice brings to light applicable findings and results that come to fruition in jointly developed solutions.
In addition to the specialized research in its departments, DUW conducts general fundamental research in continuing education. Such work is concerned with shaping the university’s role in the process of academic continuing education, the relation between basic and continuing education systems in the academic sector, and their interface with the professional sector.
The university’s focus is on the transfer of academic knowledge to the structures of the working world. A related issue is the development of tailor-made academic continuing education programmes to fit the requirements of changing professional and occupational structures.
DUW also develops new strategies and methods of learning and teaching in continuing education. Its emphasis is on issues of curriculum and teaching in the restructuring of university-level continuing education to ensure that academic continuing education remains thoroughly oriented towards the needs of working students.
DUW’s research activities are carried out in cooperation with other universities and institutions that investigate similar fields in Germany and abroad.