IU Professor takes top place in "Professor of the Year" competition


With humour, empathy and great commitment to the award

•   Prof. Dr. Rico Manss from IU in Leipzig takes second place in the economics/law category.
•   Students appreciate professional qualities, humour and empathy.

Leipzig, 16 November 2022
- There is reason to celebrate at IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) in Leipzig: IU Professor Dr. Rico Manss takes second place in the Economics/Law category of the UNICUM Foundation's "Professor of the Year" competition.

Students, colleagues and alumni at universities and colleges in Germany were called upon to nominate their favourites among the teaching staff in four categories by the end of July. The winners were selected by an independent jury. The basis for the decision was the nominees' self-disclosure, the nominations achieved, the jury's research and the nominees' references.

Prof. Dr Rico Manss has been teaching general business administration in the dual degree programme at the Leipzig location of IU International University (IU), the largest university in Germany, since 2020. For the top placement, he beat out hundreds of other nominees in his category. First place went to Prof. Dr Anne-Katrin Neyer from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

Always an open ear and at eye level

Rico Manss is particularly pleased about the positive feedback from his students. In addition to outstanding academic qualities, they attest to his sense of humour, empathy and interest in the students. "Prof. Dr. Manss is also committed to students outside of the university, plans regular roundtables, gives extra courses and always has an open ear. He is easy to reach, likes to help and tries to solve all problems. The lessons are always well planned and structured, he gives many examples and links theory with practice in an understandable way," says one student as the reason for the nomination.

"The award is a great confirmation of my modern interpretation of the job description "professor". I move away from the classic frontal teaching and the hierarchy between students and professors. Rather, I create an atmosphere at eye level. In terms of content, I also try to arouse interest in my discipline of business studies outside the lecture hall, for example by sharing weekly "learning nuggets" and the "business topic of the week" with the students via social media channels," Manss explains.

Small study groups and individual support ensure a good start to professional life

Prof. Dr. Holger Sommerfeldt, Rector of IU International University of Applied Sciences, emphasises: "We are very pleased with Prof. Dr. Manss. The award confirms our focus on small study groups and individual student support, which ensures the best possible learning outcomes and a successful start to their professional lives. The great feedback from the students shows how much they appreciate Professor Manss' great personal commitment. The fact that this is now also being recognised outside of IU is a well-deserved acknowledgement."

"Professor of the Year" has been organised as an annual, nationwide competition since 2006 and is under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. The competition honours professors who support their students in a special way in preparing them for their careers.

With over 100,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-approved educational institution with its main campus in Erfurt brings together more than 200 bachelor's and master's programmes under one roof, which are offered in German or English. Students can choose between dual studies, distance learning and myStudies, which combines online and face-to-face events, and design their studies independently with the help of a digitally supported learning environment. In addition, IU enables further training and promotes the idea of lifelong learning. The aim of the university is to give as many people as possible worldwide access to personalised education. IU started operations in 2000 and is now represented in more than 30 German cities. It cooperates with over 15,000 companies and actively supports them in the development of their employees. The partners include Motel One, VW Financial Services and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at: www.iu.org.

Awards, accreditations and certifications