Alumni visits the Bürgerschaft (Parliament) Bremen

Great enthusiasm for an event of the alumni association of the University of Bremen: Our visit to the Bürgerschaft (Parliament) of Bremen was a remarkable success. Instead of the intended thirty guests, the number of interested individuals had doubled.


Looking at the hall in which Bremen writes history in a knowledgeable manner is worth it. The parliament, whose building has a honeycomb-like structure, was taken into use in 1966. Apart from a few technical innovations, everything has remained the same, given that the cultural heritage management has been keeping an eye on it since 1993. The alumni took a closer look to the walls made from palisade wood, the loudspeakers from the 1960s that look like lamps, and read the name plates on the tables at which they took their seat with great interest.


Speakers for scientific policy provided details

Reinhard Ahlers, treasurer of the association, presented the program. On the bench, where the senators normally sit, the panel took their seats: Arno Gottschalk for the SPD, Miriam Strunge for Die Linke, Henrike Müller for Die Grünen, Susanne Grobien for the CDU, and Magnus Buhlert for the FDP. They are the respective speakers for scientific policy in their respective parties. Rapt attention prevailed among the participants.


Magic word ‘transfer’

The main topic was the science plan 2025. Gottschalk mentioned the positive key data. Instead of supporting their universities with 352 million Euro as before, the State of Bremen wants to invest 542 million Euro over the next five years. With the additional money from the federal government, it will add up to 600 million Euro, according to him. “Time for innovations and strategy,” Henrike Möller adds and mentions the magic word ‘transfer’ that is also addressed by the alumni during the discussion. Miriam Strunge from Die Linke applauds that old mistakes are rectified and the degree course in sports is reintroduced. Others do not agree – just the way it is right before an election.


“Keeping pace”

Susanne Grobien takes a stand for the university pool: “I would not want to miss the 50-meter swim lane.” But how to fund it? A just question, as the large sum of money allocated for the science plan is not solely meant for infrastructure. The University of Bremen alone is meant to receive 237 new jobs for researchers, among them 32 professorships. Magnus Buhlert stresses: “We have to deal with the backlog of renovations, but should not believe that we could reach the high ranks in terms of our facilities. It is much more important for Bremen to just keep pace with everyone else.”


Fixed-term employees and opening times

The alumni had many questions. What will happen to medical studies: a full degree or just the clinical part? Do the humanities receive enough consideration, especially the small ones? Should there be a continued financial support worth millions for the Jacobs University? What will happen to fixed-term employees in the academic sector? Will the library extend their opening times sufficiently, such as on Sundays or late at night?


Photo at Börsenhof A

The successful and on both sides highly competent discussion ended after 90 minutes. The souvenir photo had the alumni position themselves at Börsenhof A (in two groups as there were so many). They stood on a breathtakingly curved staircase from the 19th century under a semicircular atrium with a view onto triple arcades, which can be reached via a glass bridge. Not a daily sight!


Get-Together at Ständige Vertretung

Subsequently, the night came to an end at the nearby restaurant ‘Ständige Vertretung’ with relaxed conversations, where the enthusiasm about the event was still palpable.

We would like to thank everyone for the exciting opportunity to discuss and inform!


We would also like to extend our warmest thanks to our members for their strong interest in our event. We are always excited about opportunities to network and are very happy about the positive feedback we received.


Author: Karla Götz

Complemented by: Marina Ruhlandt