A recent study by Olga Troitschanskaia and her team caused outrage in the academic world. It claimed that it is often the case that students do not gain domain-specific knowledge during the course of their degree but rather lose it. The study is alarming as so-called negative learning not only questions the nature of universities and education but also the progress of humanity in general. Olga Troitschanskaia takes on the challenge of finding out what is lacking in the system of higher education. She is the national coordinator of KoKoHs, a research program that
investigates higher education. Before KoKoHs was founded in 2011, hardly any international research has been carried out on this topic. Troitschanskaia and her team are doing pioneering work in this field. As the national coordinator of KoKoHs, Troitschanskaia cooperates with over 200 researchers from over 20 different countries. As a Russian and a Berliner by choice, Troitschanskaia is fascinated by the
intercultural aspects of her work. KoKoHs is a joint research hub of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Humboldt University Berlin. This means that on top of her business trips, Troitschanskaia has to commute between these two cities. Coordinating the various studies carried out by KoKoHs is not the main task Troitschanskaia is responsible for. As a Professor of Business and Economics education, she pursues various research projects herself. In her most recent project, PLATO, Troitschanskaia focuses on how to avoid negative learning. One question she deals with is the issue of why students often seem to forget more than they learn. The way we learn is influenced by different aspects in our lives. The way in which we teach has to adapt to how society is developing. Educational practice needs to keep up with technological and social changes. Troitschanskaia ensures us that this challenge is one that can be overcome.