Like most universities of applied sciences, Osnabrück UAS was founded in 1971. Already in 1968, the German government had described this new kind of higher education institution in which students should be educated for the professional world. This education was to have a scientific basis so that graduates would be able to work self-determined and take over responsibility. In differentiation from traditional universities that were oriented towards basic research, the new universities of applied sciences should be practice-oriented in both teaching and research.
To ensure this practice-orientation, all professors at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences not only need a PhD-degree, but they also need to have at least three years of professional experience in business, industry or institutions. This fact also explains why Osnabrück UAS fosters strong ties with local and regional businesses and institutions through university-industry-transfer. Professors and students successfully engage in contract research. Practical (co-op) phases as well as group projects are a natural component of every curriculum. Most students write their bachelor and master theses in cooperation with businesses and institutions and address real-life problems with the scientific knowledge they have gained.