Students' cultural commitment and interests are extremely diverse: Coming from all disciplines, they act and play music, organise festivals, exhibit, write, paint, and take pictures. Not only do they put culture on the stage and on display, they also manage the all the behind-the-scenes tasks.
Culture means that students test their ability to improvise and resolve conflicts, socialise and have fun doing so. They develop social and professionally relevant skills such as flexibility, creativity or team spirit. On-campus cultural activities bring international and German students together and promote interdisciplinary dialogue. The student cultural scene makes a key contribution to the concept of the university as a living space.
It is the Culture Offices, part of the Studentenwerke, that often make it possible for students to express their commitment to culture. The offices support student projects by providing rooms, diverse equipment, money and a programme of courses and workshops. In doing so, the offices contribute to the cultural life at higher education institutions and allow students to put creative ideas into practice.
Studentenwerke create the necessary conditions, offer support and advice, and provide funding. Student generations change quickly, but the Culture Offices with full-time employees ensure continuity and make it possible to securely pass on the necessary expertise.
Cultural responsibilities of the Studentenwerke
The Studentenwerke were already focusing on more than financial support for students when they were founded as self-help institutions after the First World War. Although the economically difficult times provided only little time for "culture", “cultural spaces” at higher education institutions were nonetheless considered important and were established.
Today, Studentenwerke's responsibilities are set out in the state legislations. They fulfil these responsibilities in diverse ways and create the necessary framework conditions allowing students to put their own cultural ideas into practice. The cultural offer reflects local conditions and can vary from one Studentenwerk to another.
One important principle in the promotion of culture by the Studentenwerke is that the inspiration for the offer should come from the students themselves.