New Location of Alanus University for Arts and Social Sciences in Mannheim Focuses on Waldorf Education

Group photo in front of new location
From left: Prof. Dr. H. P. Bauer, Prof. Dr. A. Schmelzer, Prof. Dr. M. da Veiga

Mannheim/Alfter, 26. September 2014. In a festive celebration with around 250 invited guests, Alanus University for Arts and Social Sciences opened a new location yesterday in Mannheim. The Institute for Waldorf Education, Interculturalism, and Inclusion at the state-accredited Alanus University will offer bachelor's degree programs in “Waldorf Education” and “Social Care/Special Education” as well as a master's degree program in “Waldorf Education”.

“We will be able to focus more strongly on the themes of interculturalism and inclusion in the future, thanks to the new location,” said Marcelo da Veiga, Dean of Alanus University. The university will also continue to pursue its goal of advancing the development of Waldorf education in the new Mannheim location. “With research and teaching at an academic level, we are encouraging the social acceptance and therefore the future effectiveness of Waldorf education,” da Veiga said. The Software AG Foundation, one of the largest charitable foundations in Germany, supports the privately run university. The foundation is especially active in the area of education. Horst Philipp Bauer from the foundation's Executive Board is certain that “in Mannheim, a compelling educational concept is being carried out that meets the high quality standards of Alanus University”. Ensuring that Waldorf teacher training meets the highest standards is important to the Software AG Foundation. “In our opinion, this is possible only when teacher education takes place in an academic context,” said Bauer.

The Mannheim institute now carries the official title “Alanus University - Institute for Waldorf Education, Interculturalism, and Inclusion”. Around 200 future teachers are currently studying there. The degree programs emphasise preparation for careers in anthroposophically oriented institutions. Graduates of the master's degree program in Waldorf education will be qualified to teach grades one to eight in Waldorf schools. Graduates may also work as specialised teachers for foreign languages, arts or industrial arts, or sports. An alternative focus in the program is inclusive pedagogy. The bachelor's degree programs qualify students for careers in extracurricular education or special education, or for entrance into a master's program. All students furthermore acquire intercultural skills in praxis-oriented projects and seminars. The institute is attached to the Department of Education at Alanus University, which places particular emphasis on the dialogue between Waldorf education and classical education science as well as on the personal development of its students. Including the students at the institute in Mannheim, Alanus University now has over 1,200 students in six departments.

The Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences is a privately run, state-recognized university. The school was founded in Alfter, near Bonn, in 1973. It obtained state recognition in 2002 and was institutionally accredited by the Wissenschaftsrat (German Council of Science and Humanities) in 2010. All degrees are equivalent to those of the state-run academies, art schools and universities. Alanus University is the only privately run university in Germany whose teacher qualification programs are state-recognized. An important part of the concept at Alanus University is the meeting of the arts and sciences. Interdisciplinary projects provide students with opportunities to experience the dialogue and mutual inspiration between different disciplines and form an important part of the university's programs.