Ceremonial welcome of the first student teachers at the BTU Campus Senftenberg

Brandenburg's Minister of Science Schüle, Minister of Education Freiberg, and Senftenberg's Mayor Pfeiffer joined BTU President Prof. Grande today, October 9, 2023, to open the new study programme "Primary School Teacher Training".

"For the BTU and in particular our Campus Senftenberg, there is reason to celebrate: In a record time of less than a year, we have established an innovative study programme for elementary school teaching and today welcome 56 future elementary school teachers here on site to begin their studies in Senftenberg. In this way, we are making an important contribution to the state of Brandenburg, strengthening the campus in Senftenberg and creating exciting networks with other disciplines at the BTU," said Prof. Dr. Gesine Grande, President of the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) at the reception ceremony.

The BTU offers student teachers a completely new approach to their future profession as elementary school teachers, in that they are active in selected partner schools from the beginning and learn the job in a real environment - flanked by theoretical and pedagogical knowledge, which is taught to them professionally at the BTU in so-called learning workshops.

Brandenburg's Minister of Science, Dr. Manja Schüle, welcomed the student teachers to Brandenburg: "We know: We need teachers and we need many. They are the ones who will continue to teach our children reading, writing and arithmetic in the future. But schools can do more and must do more. It accompanies children and young people on their way to becoming critical and discerning citizens. And this is where teachers come in: They can fund in children an innate desire to understand and question. They can inspire children to be confident and courageous. They can teach children how to resolve challenges, mistakes, and conflicts with confidence. They can show how to work together instead of against each other. As a country, we offer optimal conditions for this: A new location, built in record time. High practical content. Great schools in the region. And above all: strong partners with the BTU, the University of Potsdam, the Ministry of Education and my ministry, all pulling in the same direction. Welcome to Brandenburg, dear student teachers!"

With regard to the need for teachers in Brandenburg, Education Minister Steffen Freiberg said, "We are making every effort to be able to recruit enough teachers. Higher training capacities at universities make a significant contribution to attracting well-trained teachers for our elementary schools in our own state. The teacher training center in Senftenberg is an outstanding example of how we in Brandenburg are thinking differently about initial, continuing and advanced training and are working together with all those involved to redesign it. I would like to thank everyone for their great commitment. The Brandenburg system of teacher training will be of high quality and flexibly aligned to the respective needs and will lead the way nationwide. Well-trained teachers lead to good teaching, and good schools in turn make for an attractive location."

For Senftenberg's mayor Andreas Pfeiffer, the new study programme is a blessing: "New professors are coming to Senftenberg, but above all we are looking forward to new and more students who will enrich and enliven Senftenberg's townscape. The young people will hopefully remain to a large extent as well-trained professionals in the region, in which so many new things are developing and which offers families with children the best opportunities. This is another reason why the city of Senftenberg will continue to support the BTU to the best of its ability in the further development of the study programme."

Robin Löfflath is one of the more than 200 interested students who applied for the first 50 study places - and who was admitted. The 19-year-old currently commutes from Plessa in the Elbe-Elster district to Senftenberg and is delighted about the opportunity to study in Lusatia: "I made a conscious decision to study teaching at the BTU because of the practical form of the programme. At the same time, the points of attachment to the homeland and support for the homeland were important to me. I hope to be familiarized with modern teaching methods and can well imagine staying in the region."

In order to enable the start of teaching in the winter semester 2023/24, four interim professors* have been appointed for the first year: for the subjects German, English, Mathematics and Education Sciences. "At the same time, announcements are being made for the regular professorships, who will take up their positions in the winter semester of 2024/25 after an appointment process lasting several months," explains Prof. Dr. Peer Schmidt, Vice-President for Academic Affairs at BTU , who successfully coordinated the establishment of the study programme with his team. In the next few years, the BTU will appoint a total of ten professors specifically for the study programme in primary education, as well as hiring additional staff for teaching, internship coordination, technology and assistance. With the increasing number of academic teachers, the university will then also be able to offer more teacher training places - 120 according to current plans.

Information about the study programme


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A successful start to the new teacher training program at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg: The future elementary school teachers received a school cone from Brandenburg's Minister of Science Dr. Manja Schüle, Minister of Education Steffen Freiberg and BTU President Prof. Dr. Gesine Grande. Senftenberg's mayor Andreas Pfeiffer also warmly welcomed the students to their new home. (Photo: BTU/Ralf Schuster)
Brandenburg's Minister of Science, Dr Manja Schüle, welcomed the students to the campus. (Photo: BTU, Ralf Schuster)
Steffen Freiberg, Minister of Education of the State of Brandenburg, cited Senftenberg as an example of how education can be thought of differently and redesigned. (Photo: BTU, Ralf Schuster)
To welcome the first student teachers, Minister Schüle, Minister Freiberg and BTU President Grande handed out school cones. (Photo: BTU, Ralf Schuster)
To welcome the first student teachers, Minister Schüle, Minister Freiberg and BTU President Grande handed out school cones. (Photo: BTU, Ralf Schuster)
The moderator Daniel Ris, artistic director of the theatre neue Bühne Senftenberg, the head of the study programme Prof. Dr. Juliane Noack Napoles and the vice president for studies and teaching, Prof. Dr. Peer Schmidt talking about the development of the innovative teacher training programme. (Photo: BTU, Ralf Schuster)