On 9 May 2001, the FHW Senate published a classical mission statement for the first time in the history of the university. In contained a few guiding principles such as
- The first priority of the FHW is qualifying the students for successful careers.
- The FHW is approachable, participates in the public life of the region and is a competent partner in the fields that it represents.
- Motivation, identification and the commitment of all members of the FHW are the basis for mutual success.
which summarised the most important common principles of the members of the university.
With a view to embedding the universities in regional politics, the FHW has now decided to clearly specify its guidelines as part of its overall strategic orientation and establish the university specifications. The historical mission statement is naturally still available.
Universities, due to statutory requirements and as institutions of the state, are integrated into a variety of control measures of the state parliament and the state government. In particular, § 3 of the Higher Education Act lays out the duties of the universities in a form that corresponds to the “Mission Statement” of classical management theory. The state government leads universities through the use of target agreements and then reports to the parliament on the achievement of targets and indicators. However, the universities do possess a certain amount of creative leeway which they are able to use for achieving their own objectives.
For this reason, in 2014 the FHW initiated a democratic decision-making process within the university which will be completed in 2016 in accordance with the new State Higher Education Act and the extension of the target agreements to 2019. Essential statements concerning the profile and what the FHW offers, study and work at the FHW, research and knowledge transfer, internationalisation and implementation of the strategy are all affected by this.