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The oldest university of Bochum lies right at the heart of the city. As early as 1816, the first students completed their training in mining engineering. Today, THGA develops its heritage with a view to the future: in our practical study programmes, we make use of our industrial roots providing young women and men with the know-how needed to solve the engineering challenges of tomorrow and the days after.

The history of THGA is representative of the structural change the city of Bochum has gone through, changing from a rural parish to a centre of the coal and steel industry and then to a multifaceted hub of knowledge and talent – industrial work is rooted in engineering knowledge and vice versa. Likewise, THGA moved on from its mining roots: today, the former mining college of Bochum is an innovative engineering university with a new focuses in its three departments Geo-Resources and Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences, and Electrical Engineering, Information Technology and Business Engineering.

Our teaching and research are perfectly designed to meet the needs of the industry. Whether they are going to work in the energy sector, sustainable resource management or industrial manufacturing: the engineers of tomorrow need to be best prepared for the multiple challenges they are facing. Around 80% of all final papers deal with actual applications in companies and kick off immediate improvement. In our state-of-the-art lab facilities intelligent high-tech materials are created as well as ideas for Industry 4.0. Our comprehensive approach does not merely focus on technology, but how we put it to use for the best of people and the society we live in. Thus THGA offers many opportunities to shape the future.

To achieve that, THGA accommodates the Research Centre of Post-Mining, an institute that is globally unique and where the risks and opportunities of the perpetual tasks left by mining are investigated – independently and across disciplines. In our Master programme Geo-Engineering and Post-Mining graduates learn how to deal responsibly with the complex challenges posed by mine closures, restoration and subsequent use.

Currently around 2,500 students attend courses at our historic campus on Herner Strasse. In nearly all study programmes, they are able to choose between full-time and part-time degrees – the latter offering courses and modules in the evening and at the weekend. Part-time degrees allow people to better manage the needs of work, family and studies. This offer sees a real boost and is used by more than 50% of our students, says Prof. Kretschmann. "What today is seen as a silver bullet to compensate for the lack of qualified staff, has been enjoying a tradition of more than 200 years at THGA: as early as 1816 people working as supervisors in mining took the chance to qualify as a ‘practical mining official’.”

THGA is comparably small, so people know each other and the ways to the library, the classroom or the professor’s office are short. Another advantage is the low number of students in courses and tutorials – no crowded lecture halls – and individual supervision by the academic staff. This family-like atmosphere is a particular motivation for educational climbers to enrol in an engineering degree: around two thirds of our students are the first generation of academic graduates in their family, and about 40% come from a migration background. This is our contribution to educational fairness, and we see how many diverse talents can be enthused to join the engineering professions.

We also develop new prospects for people who came to Germany as refugees and are trying to build their future here: supported by the German Academic Exchange Service and funded the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of North Rhine-Westphalia (MIWF), and in cooperation with the Trade Union of Mining, Chemistry and Energy (IG BCE), THGA offers an introduction programme to prepare refugees for university life. Language courses and first basic modules are taught to accelerate the integration progress and to open new paths to refugees.

Quality, open-mindedness, flexibility, humanity and tradition – these are our values which we are taking into the future, and have been doing so since 1816.