Learning at the university

Independent, self-guided work

Unlike at school, university students are expected to mainly organise their studies independently. For example, it is up to students to find out themselves when lectures begin, which courses they have to take in which semester, by when certain credits and examinations need to be earned, how to register for them, whether they need to undertake practical training, and so on.

Lecturers often assume that students possess basic factual knowledge – the course content builds on this knowledge. If students find that they have knowledge gaps at the start of the course, they are responsible for acquiring the knowledge themselves. Students must also take the initiative to acquire knowledge of academic learning methods – such as how to search for information, reading techniques, academic writing and presentation techniques – where needed. In light of this, time management and self-management are important skills that students must learn, enabling them to achieve good results without constantly needing to be instructed and supervised.


ZQS/Key Competencies at Leibniz University Hannover will support you from Day One at university in matters such as learning and working techniques, exam preparation, time management and self-management, academic writing and presentation.

Learning and working techniques - Consultation and workshops
Academic writing skills - Consultation and workshops
Seminars with credit points for more success in your studies


Besides being responsible for delivering a course, lecturers also have a duty to support their students. In addition to teaching, lecturers are often involved in conducting research, meaning that they have little time on their hands. However, they can be contacted during their drop-in hours – usually once a week – or by email or by phone.

It is up to the students to make use of these opportunities and to request support when needed. Great importance is attached to sharing ideas, group work and discussions at university. As such, every contact with a lecturer signifies a further step towards independence and, in some circumstances, conflict resolution.