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Education is the kindling of a candle, not the filling of a vessel.

28 May

UDS, Berlin

June 20, 2019 @UDS Berlin

Rainer Lenz, PhD (Member of Board of Trustees @University of Digital Sciences, Berlin

Life and study are a personal and unique discovery journey. In the autumn of 2020, the University of Digital Sciences, Berlin will intake the first cohort of students from all over the world. This academic start-up in Berlin may just be right for you in order to develop yourself.

In the 80ies, I was studying at the first Private University in Germany, the University Witten/Herdecke (UWH, 1). Founded 1983, I enrolled 1987. Throughout my four years, graduating 1991 as “Diplom-Oeconom”, eventually, I learnt a great deal of new things, some with a lasting impact on my life and my professional career. At the start, well equipped with first class A-levels, trained as a Banker (NB: That used to be a noble profession back then.), I was keen on accumulating knowledge, and learning the hard-facts. Of course, knowing a lot does not hurt. However, lexical knowledge, say “google-knowledge”, matters but is not the core of what education is about. My 2 cents.


At the beginning of my studies, I was rather asking “How to” type of questions. Throughout my discovery journey at the UWH, I could grow my limits, I would say with hindsight. Among other things, I learnt that education is not merely about the learning of facts, but rather the training of the mind. I learnt to ask more “Why” type of questions. “Education is the kindling of a [candle], not the filling of a vessel (2).” The metaphor of the candle is encouraging to think independently. Be curious. Be courageous. Take the lead of your educational journey. Not consuming education, rather producing new knowledge, contributing to the constantly changing body of knowledge, developing new methods, and assuming social responsibility, too. Become the best person that you can be.

Some years ago, a good friend told me about Rabbi Zusya: “Before his death, Rabbi Zusya said “In the coming world, they will not ask me: ‘Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?” (3). When you wish to develop yourself, build your individual skill-set and continue your educational journey in a fresh entrepreneurial academic context, you may wish to consider the University of Digital Sciences, Berlin; that may just be the right environment for you. Please check the homepage ( for further information, and please contact/meet the academic staff. The University of Digital Sciences in Berlin (UDS) may be the place you want to be.

Your call to action.




  1. Homepage UWH (accessed May 28, 2019)
  2. Quote 1 (accessed May 28, 2019), replaced flame by candle
  3. Quote 2 (accessed May 28, 2019)