The Ruhr Valley.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is characterized by three differing regions: The Rhineland, the Ruhr Area and the Münsterland, with each having its own distinctive population.
In the early 1990s, the Ruhr Area towns and cities were characterized by their industrial history and by the companies which had been set up there. Shaft towers, factory buildings and collieries are still omnipresent in the Ruhr towns and cities. In fact, they are still today's reminders of the old mines and heavy industries.
But a decline in industries representative of the Ruhr Valley and the simultaneous withdrawal of the textile industry from the Muensterland region created a sudden opening for new and better-qualified workers.
The region was in need of the type of impetus which modern technology businesses and companies could provide.
Through its multifaceted range of specialist subjects, the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences aims to guide and support the regions whilst taking the regions strengths into account and the characters of the people who live there. For this University progress means being able to meet the demands created by today´s rapid changes in the world of work. It is achieved by delivering an evenly and well-balanced combination of education and practical experience; an offer which Universities of Applied Sciences provide.
The steady increase in the range of specialized subjects offered by the University is an indicator of the coexistence between cultivation of tradition and ongoing development in education and research.
Currently, over 30 study courses in technology, informatics, natural sciences, business studies, law and journalism are offered here at Westphalian University.
The University's education and research faculties maintain close contact with companies in the "Emscher-Lippe" region and western "Muensterland".
This regional approach has augmented the University's international orientation and exchange programmes within Europe and the rest of the world.
Living in Gelsenkirchen.
The football-crazy town Gelsenkirchen has 270,000 inhabitants and is situated in the centre of the Ruhr Valley.
The local football club Schalke 04, is Gelsenkirchen's number one publicity feature and an identification image for many residents.
The state of the art Veltins Arena is the clubs home ground and was one of the designated stadium locations during the 2006 FIFA World Cup . It houses 62,000 spectators and has a sliding roof and as well as football, hosts other big events such as
- pop concerts
- car racing
- boxing tournaments
Traces of heavy industries from earlier days still colour the town's image. Former collieries and factories have been converted into commercial premises and event venues such as die Kaue. The Music Theatre in the Ruhr Area, a renovated post-war theatre with a seating capacity of over 1000, a municipal museum and the Halfmannshof artists community lend the town its cultural colour. In the newly-built zoo, aptly named Zoom, there is a wide variety of creatures from the animal kingdoms of Alaska, Africa and Asia.
There are two centres in Gelsenkirchen for shopping and going out. The University is situated in the district "Buer" which is in the north of Gelsenkirchen. Buer's pedestrianized shopping area has a pleasant atmosphere due to its many street cafés and cosy pubs.
The roots of the town's industrial history can be found in the south of Gelsenkirchen where the first coal mines and industrial estates were built.
However, today the city is the location for local community services, a shopping centre, the Science Park and the main railway station.
Other towns and cities in the Ruhr Area and the Rhineland can be easily accessed from the station.
The open countryside of the Münsterland is within easy reach.