In this post I will be discussing mission statements of two universities, The University of Jordan and the University of Stuttgart. I have attended The University of Jordan for my undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering, therefore, I have a good level of familiarity with the institution. I chose to look into the University of Stuttgart because a friend of mine attended it for his master’s degree, he also earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Jordan. My friend and I had many discussions in the past about his academic and campus life experiences in both institutions and that motivated me to write this post.
The university of Jordan
Located in Amman, the capital city of Jordan, The University of Jordan is a public university and is the largest and oldest institution of higher education in the country . The university consists of 24 schools with various disciplines of sciences and arts. The total number of students enrolled was 50,000 during the 2019/20 academic year. Their mission statement is :
- Providing students with fulfilling learning experiences, conducting knowledge-generating research, and building firm societal ties, within an environment that is attractive and financially stable, and conducive to creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
What stands out, at least to me as a reader, is that the university is aiming at balancing their focus between different aspects of their role as an institution. One can see four broad themes in the mission statement: learning, society, financial stability, and creativity. It was interesting to find a “financially stable” environment mentioned in the mission statement, however, it reflects on a lot of the financial challenges that continue to face both students and higher education institutes in developing countries such as Jordan. Based on my experience, the university adopts a model where they introduce a trade off to keep education affordable by limiting campus facilities and non-academic activities/resources available to students compared to academic resources. In my opinion, the last part of the mission statement is forward-looking in the sense that strong academics can fuel innovation in the future.
The University of Stuttgart
Located in Stuttgart, Germany. The University of Stuttgart is one of the oldest technical universities in Germany with highly ranked programs in civil, mechanical, industrial and electrical engineering. During the academic year 2019/20, a total of 24,540 students were enrolled in all 10 colleges within the university. Their mission statement is:
- The University of Stuttgart is a leading, technically-oriented German university with a global presence.
- Basic research that is both insight-oriented and practically-relevant is the key to its functioning.
- The University educates not only outstanding experts in their chosen domains but also personalities who think globally and interactively and act responsibly for the sake of science, society, and the economy.
- Through its research and teaching, it fosters the general welfare and contributes to economic success.
- As an employer, it creates space for diversity and equal opportunity as well as fair treatment for all – regardless of status, age, ethnicity and gender.
- The University of Stuttgart advocates for open-mindedness, individualism, and community spirit. Thanks to this culture of integration, it is able to create and pass on knowledge for a responsible shaping of our common future.
The university of Stuttgart seems to bring forward their global presence and strength as a technical university, this is closely tied to its reputation in certain fields such as advanced automotive engineering and industrial engineering. Keeping in mind that Stuttgart is the home of notable companies such as Mercedes-Benz and Porsche which influences the culture of the institution to be technically and economically oriented.
The university of Stuttgart’s mission statement also includes the contribution to economic success, my interpretation of this point, after reading their strategic goals, was that they want to equip their graduates to be attractive for future employers of a global scale. This part stood out to me when I compared it to the University of Jordan’s statement, it shows how universities in an advanced economy think differently compared to smaller, developing economies.
The University of Stuttgart addressed inclusion for both students and employees in a specific manner to show their commitment to diversity, perhaps because Germany is the second most desired immigration destination in the world after the United States . The university of Stuttgart’s efforts in community spirit can be seen through programs that promote diversity such as the cross-cultural mentoring program  which encourages German students to interact with international students. On the other hand, The University of Jordan has a similar program offered only for students of “Arabic for Speakers of Other Languages”, that is most likely because those students make up the vast majority of international students on campus.