Former PIs/Participants

Prof. Dr. Uwe Schmidt
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz


Obituary for Prof. Dr. Uwe Schmidt

The PLATO program as well as the newly established DFG research unit CORE (FOR 5404) mourns the passing of our brilliant colleague and principal investigator Prof. Dr. Uwe Schmidt, who left us much too soon on December 18, 2023, at the age of 63.

Uwe was an outstanding, internationally renowned sociologist and higher education researcher. He was the Director of the Center for Quality Assurance and Development at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (since 2012) and of the office of the Evaluation Association of Institutes of Higher Education (for Southwest Germany). He was a member of the Commission of Institutional Evaluation of FIBAA, of the German Council of Science and Humanities, and (since 2018) a permanent guest in an Advisory Capacity of the German Accreditation Council.

Under his leadership, important milestones in higher education research and practice were achieved, including - but not limited to - the expansion of the mapping to include types of higher education institutions outside the state universities and the reintroduction of degree programs in small subjects into this mapping. In the field of higher education research, Uwe Schmidt headed several successful third-funded projects, including projects within the PLATO program and one project within the new DFG research unit CORE. Despite his recent serious illness, Uwe Schmidt remained actively involved in various interdisciplinary projects, including PLATO and CORE. His unwavering dedication was instrumental in the success of these endeavors.

In his numerous national and international projects and corresponding publications, his particular focus lay with questions of complex interrelationships of study success and quality development in higher education. His outstanding research work is relevant for many domains and helped substantially to reduce deficits and desiderata in national and international empirical research in the field of higher education.

Uwe's contribution to higher education research, practice, and policy is truly remarkable despite his relatively young academic age. In addition, he consistently demonstrated enthusiastic support for the promotion of young researchers. His academic legacy is significant and his work will undoubtedly inspire many generations to come. With his untimely passing, we mourn the loss of an excellent, dedicated, border-crossing researcher in the interdisciplinary community of higher education, as well as a wonderful colleague and friend. His academic work has a strong appeal and will remain an example of an innovative future-oriented research vision in higher education and beyond.

In deep sorrow and silent appreciation, we would like to bid a fond academic farewell to our Fellow Uwe Schmidt. We hope that the family and friends of Uwe Schmidt can find solace in knowing that his contributions enriched the lives of so many people and that his work will continue to influence the field for many years to come.

For the PLATO program and the FOR CORE, Olga Troitschanskaia