"Activities are considered Third Mission Activities when they actively shape the non-academic environmentconsume institutional resources and are associated with higher education core activities such as education and research or the strategic goals [respectively the mission statement] of the respective HEI." (Westermann et al. 2022)

Accordingly, an activity is designated as a third-mission activity if it meets the following three criteria:

1. It is related to the core processes or strategic goals or mission statement of the university, i.e.
    a.    research in the area of the departments or faculties, or
    b.    curricular teaching in the area of the departments or faculties, or
    c.    the mission statement/strategic goals of the university.

2. It makes use of university resources, e.g.
    a.    Rooms or grounds
    b.    Facilities or equipment
    c.    Staff
    d.    Students
    e.    financial resources

3. It actively shapes the non-academic environment (society, politics, social institutions, schools, economy, etc.), e.g. through
    a.    Cooperation with actors of the non-academic environment
    b.    Providing services for actors in the non-academic environment
    c.    Prepare and provide information to stakeholders in the non-academic environment.

Examples of third-mission activities as defined:

Students (2) work together with or for a social institution on the development of a concept (3) as part of their university teaching (1).

Professors (2) work on a problem (3) together with or for a company as part of a third-party funded research project (1).

The department of communication and marketing of a university, which in its mission statement aims for cultural diversity and the promotion of the arts (1), organizes a vernissage, which is open to all citizens (3) on the premises of the university (2).