Collection of relevant weblinks and documents concerning the development of the Third Mission and related activities.


Recently published:

Brandt, L., Schober, B., Schultes, M., Somoza, V., & Spiel, C. (2018). Supporting Third Mission activities at Universities: Deans' opinions and recommendations. Zeitschrift Für Hochschulentwicklung, 13(2), 21-40. doi:10.3217/zfhe-13-02/02

Universities are increasingly required to address societal challenges in teaching and research as their third mission (TM). We took an educational-psychological approach to assessing parameters which support university members in setting goals and taking action for TM activities. For that purpose, we conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with the deans of all 19 faculties at the University of Vienna assessing opinions and recommendations related to the TM. In addition, we conducted interviews with 23 TM actors and a university-wide online survey to capture current TM activities. Key requirements for implementing the TM were improved visibility and explicit appreciation of related activities.

BildungsTV - July 28, 2017

How Education Can Promote Social Progress

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Christiane Spiel is Professor of Bildung-Psychology and Evaluation at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna. The presentation gives insights in the chapter on education of the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP; The IPSP initiative aims to rethink the 21st Century. It is based on a belief in the importance of bringing back utopian thinking and long-term prospective analysis of social structures. The aim is to stimulate intellectual and public debate and to contribute to the quest for social justice. To understand the connection between education and social progress, the IPSP distinguishes in the chapter on education among four distinct goals of education: civic, economic, humanistic, and equity promotion. The presentation gives an overview about IPSP and the chapter on education with a specific focus on educational institutions.

This speech was recorded on July 6, 2017 in Vienna, as part of the Young Scientists Conference.

Link to Video: 

Spiel, C. (2017). How Education Can Promote Social Progress. Keynote at the International Association of University Presidents (IUAP): Young Scientists Conference, 2017, Vienna, Austria, 5th - 8th July.

1. project report

First interim project report

At large universities such as the University of Vienna, multiple activities directly relevant to the Third Mission are ongoing. However, such activities are frequently not systematically documented and insufficiently interconnected. Against this backdrop, the project “Third Mission of the University of Vienna” was commissioned by the rectorate (project term: March 2016 – February 2018). The starting point was a clear commitment of the University of Vienna to the Third Mission in the Development Plan 2020.

The first interim project report is available here: Zwischenbericht 2016 (Executive summary available in English)


Overcoming the ivory tower: Transfer and societal responsibility as crucial aspects of the Bildung-Psychology approach

Barbara Schober, Laura Brandt, Marlene Kollmayer & Christiane Spiel

Abstract: Strong evidence indicates the importance of successful education for individuals as well as for society as a whole; however, evidence-based knowledge from educational psychology is frequently not (successfully) transferred to decision-makers and practitioners. Besides, there is an increasing demand for transfer of academic knowledge in general to help resolve diverse societal challenges – codified as the obligation of universities to perform a Third Mission. This paper aims to demonstrate Bildung-Psychology’s contribution to successful knowledge transfer. Two examples from Bildung-Psychology illustrate how teaching and research activities can contribute to fulfilling universities’ Third Mission. By localizing these activities within the structure model of Bildung-Psychology, we aim to depict how this framework may serve as a role model for other scientific fields to build a firm basis for successful transfer.

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