Higher Education Institutions are under increasing pressure for transformation.Digitalization of the society in general and of education in detail constitutes the main driver of change. As the use of new media always has an impact on the way a society is communicating and organized, it also has influence on thinking, learning and teaching. Currently, education is in the transition between the two, whereby it won’t evolve automatically but needs to be supported by ideas and intentional changes of mentality.
Digitalization changes the whole nature of communicating, thinking and learning. Network communication is no longer linear. Formation of knowledge and its distribution takes place in emerging new structures. Therefore, the process of knowledge-production becomes intersubjective and depends on personal sense-making between people, who are connected in personal learning networks. Participation in this kind of knowledge-production asks for the so called 21st century skills: the ability to communicate, collaborate, to think critically and to solve problems.
The interconnected structure of communication, knowledge-generation and thinking demands a new idea of HE-institutions and their function in society. We discuss a different idea of ‘Bildung’ and the consequently needed changes in the organization of universities to answer the shifting function for higher education institutions.
Study programs, the organization of higher education institutions as well as the whole idea of "universitas" need to be revised. We propose a concept of university that is built upon real world problems. Consequently, the foundation of study programs does not rely on disciplines any more but on questions. Therefore, disciplines are no longer separated in faculties, but part of a bigger context of cross-disciplinary real world problems. In the session we will discuss this approach of a problem-solving-idea of university.