The university’s parliament came together for a special meeting on March 15, due to the anticipated cuts to the science budget. The senate unanimously decided on an appeal directed to Bremen Parliament, namely that the Science Plan 2025 be realized. In the appeal, the members of the Academic Senate emphasize the role that the university plays for economic development and education in Bremen State. Over 3,500 trained staff enter the job market annually after having completed their degree at the university. “We educate based on the foundations of the most recent scientific findings,” says Professor Rita Groß-Hardt, who initiated the appeal together with her colleague Professor Matthis Kepser. “By doing so, we are significantly contributing to the development of the technology location Bremen and its economic innovation strength.”
The training of teachers must also not be forgotten. Matthis Kepser adds: “At the University of Bremen, 3,000 young people are studying to become teachers. 300 complete their studies each year and subsequently take on responsibility for the education of our children in schools.” “Additionally,” says Rita Groß-Hardt, “our and the following generation must face great challenges. With its research in the fields of climate change, digitalization, and health care, the university helps in finding answers to urgent matters of the future.”
The intention of the state government to make cuts to the science budget not only endangers the essence of the University of Bremen. The effects would also be directly felt by the people in Bremen. “It has become clear how many teaching staff members we are lacking in the fields of inclusive education and sport in the state. These degree courses were the victims of the cuts made in 2007,” reports Matthis Kepser. By deviating from the Science Plan 2025, there is the risk that such an uncontrolled breaking down of degree programs may occur once more. “The significance of the university for education and for the economic and innovative strength in the state is underestimated,” according to Rita Groß-Hardt. “If Bremen cannot afford to do one thing then it would be to saw off this branch.”
Just over two weeks ago, it was made known that the state government plans for there to be far less funds for the area of science than originally decided upon in the Science Plan 2025. Subsequently, the University Executive Board and Staff Council wrote an open letter to Mayor Dr Andreas Bovenschulte. University teaching staff collected over 8500 signatures against deviation from the Science Plan 2025. Students, teaching staff, the University Executive Board, and unions demonstrated together against the senate’s plans at the market square.
- The Academic Senate ruling and the appeal in full can be read here (only in German available).
- The petition from the state’s university teaching staff can be found here: https://www.uni-bremen.de/unterschriften-aktion-der-bremer-hochschulen
- The open letter from the President and the Staff Council can be downloaded here.