Laser show at the summer festival of the University of Jena

Mission Statement

What does the University of Jena stand for? Which values do we want to live? What gives us orientation for the future? The mission statement answers these questions.​​
Laser show at the summer festival of the University of Jena
Image: Jürgen Scheere (University of Jena)

The Friedrich Schiller University Jena is part of society. It is committed to the freedom of research and teaching and contributes to shaping the future by providing solutions for society’s grand challenges through science and education.

Building on its interdisciplinary research profile and being mindful of its nearly five hundred years of eventful history, the university translates this commitment into the following values:

  • Gathering and spreading light (Light)
  • Preserving and nurturing life (Life)
  • Protecting and shaping liberty (Liberty)

These values give rise to the following orientations:

 Gathering and spreading light

  • forms the core of all university activities in the sense that research and teaching are oriented towards appropriateness and truthfulness. Striving for knowledge and ensuring good scientific practice are important dimensions of university education. This also includes the continuous promotion of international cooperation and networking with non-university research institutions.
  • forms a counterpoint in memory of times when our university acted in line with authoritarian state systems, and exhorts us to sharpen continuously our critical faculties when facing the challenges of science and society under the banner of peaceful, democratic and sustainable coexistence.
  • expresses itself in public communication of research results and teaching strategies. Transferring research results into the day-to-day life of business, culture and society is of crucial significance both locally and globally.

Preserving and nurturing life

  • excludes any form of discrimination against and disadvantaging of people based on gender, skin colour, origin, religion, world view, sexual orientation or specific life circumstances, and leads to an appreciation of comprehensive inclusion and diversity as the basis of our vibrant and innovative university community.
  • expresses itself in scientific contributions that work towards this goal, and leads to mindfulness in relation to the challenges such as the compatibility of family and studies or career, sustainability, climate justice and intergenerational equity.
  • gives direction to the university's internal organisation: to enhance self-efficacy and personal development potential, to protect health and to an appreciation of the different activities of the people at our university.

Protecting and shaping liberty

  • is reflected in a balanced appreciation of disciplinary and interdisciplinary work, which is expressed, among other things, in the provision of space for new ideas for all individuals engaged in research and teaching at our university.
  • in the context of society, is reflected on the one hand in the critical rejection of any kind of state paternalism towards research and teaching. On the other hand, the university assumes responsibility to intervene in public debates when its elementary principles are attacked, for example in the form of racial discrimination.
  • is demonstrated in everyday university life by promoting and maintaining a critical and reflective attitude among teachers, students and all employees, taking into account the characteristics of the cultures of different academic disciplines and areas of expertise.

Aspects of the Mission Statement

The mission statement was formulated by a Senate task force set up specifically for this purpose. In this video series, the members of the task force explain what the mission statement means to them and which aspects are particularly important to them (English subtitles available).

An empty notepad and pens
The Mission Statement Process
On 16 February 2021, the mission statement was adopted by the Senate of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Take a look back on the mission statement process!


If you have any comments or suggestions regarding the University of Jena's mission statement, please use our contact form.


Katja Daube, Dr
Referentin des Präsidenten
Dr. Katja Daube
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)
Universitätshauptgebäude, Room 1.21
Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena Google Maps site planExternal link