Photo of Matthias Karl
Image: Stefan Bausewein

50 Years 50 Faces

Matthias Karl

Research Associate, currently (since 2019) at the Center Digital Education (ZDL), before at BEST FIT project / Module: COMA (2018-2019) and at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (2016-2018)

Working at FHWS since May 2016

For me, FHWS is:
A higher education institution that is constantly developing, yet remains true to itself.

What do you appreciate about FHWS?

At FHWS, I particularly appreciate the collegial and appreciative working atmosphere. It contributes to the emerging of innovations and the quick and constructive overcoming of difficulties.

What was the best decision in your professional career and why? What has changed since then?

The best decision in my professional career was definitely to apply for my current position as a research associate at the Center Digital Education (ZDL). Much of my previous life seems to have pointed more or less towards this goal. I was lucky enough to be able to open doors with my interest in innovative, digital teaching at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and, together with the then Dean Prof. Dr. Harald Bolsinger and the Head of Digitalization, Prof. Dr. Arnd Gottschalk, I was able to (help) initiate a number of things, from the introduction of the Media Education Days to the faculty’s own digitalisation strategy, which brought the digital teaching and learning culture at FHWS a bit further forward. When the opportunity arose in 2019 to move to a permanent position in the newly created “Center Digital Education” (ZDL), I jumped at the chance. With this position at the Center Digital Education (ZDL), FHWS has not only given me professional security, which is not insignificant for me as a father of three, but also offers me the opportunity to continuously develop myself and my department, for which I am very grateful. 

What do you think has shaped FHWS the most over the last 50 years?

From the very beginning, FHWS has seen itself as an innovative and forward-looking higher education institution. True to the motto “only those who change remain true to themselves”, it has never gotten stuck in the here and now or even in yesterday, but has always remained focused on tomorrow. In particular, I see internationalisation and digital transformation as strategic areas that FHWS has consciously adopted. The Covid-19 pandemic has already shown how important and correct this course decision was: FHWS proved itself to be well-prepared and able to act when it came to switching to digital teaching across the board. And the international students were also still able to successfully continue their studies at our higher education institution.

What is your vision of the future for FHWS? What might FHWS look like in 50 years’ time?

The digital transformation will offer us many new opportunities in the future. The individual students, but also the staff (the motto is: working from home), will gain more flexibility and individuality as a result. Specifically, there could be innovations in teaching towards immersive media formats (virtual and augmented reality), for example. In future, studying will no longer be as tied to a certain place and time as it is today.

What is your insider tip for the cities of Würzburg or Schweinfurt and why?

As an enthusiastic cinema-goer, I can highly recommend the Central cinema in Würzburg on the former Bürgerbräu site. The former brewery cellars offer a unique atmosphere to enjoy big and small cinema moments beyond the mainstream. As a Kickers fan, I’m also looking forward to when the stadium at Dallenberg opens its gates again.