Opening of the academic year: Rector says university condition is "desolate" and wants to increase ratio of women

Opening of the academic year : Rector says university condition is "desolate" and wants to increase ratio of women

The University of Bonn once again opened the academic year with a big ceremony. Rector Michael Hoch had to concede the "desolate" condition of the structure, renovation costs would reach at least one billion euros.

Under the festive triumphal sounds of the Sir Edwards fanfare of the contemporary composer Matthias Kiefer, the rectorate and deans moved into the auditorium of the University of Bonn for the opening of the academic year. After the welcoming address by Mayor Reinhard Limbach, who emphasized the great importance of the integration of business and science in Bonn, NRW Economics Minister Andreas Pinkwart (FDP) devoted much of his speech entitled "Humboldt reloaded" to the Humboldt concept of education.

AStA chairwoman wants to restrict freedom of expression "for certain stances”

"Correctly understood and implemented", says Pinkwart, the Humboldt concept unites research and teaching, of learning for the sake of learning. It also embraces the freedom of research and teaching and is key to meeting the new challenges in an enlightened and self-confident way. Digitalization also offers the University of Bonn many opportunities for better integration of students into research teaching.

Pinkwart, who received his doctorate in 1991 with his dissertation on "Chaos and Corporate Crisis" in Bonn, made it clear that in our "complex, rapidly accelerating and extremely confusing world" it is not only a matter of specialist knowledge that counts, but also the ability to reflect judgement, which only grows from a holistic educational concept. Student union (AStA) chairwoman Lena Engel clarified her stance on the subject of freedom of opinion, which - according to her view - should be restricted for certain stances, she said with a view to "actors of the new right-wing", who have expressed themselves as "conspiracy-theorists, racist, sexist or climate deniers".

Rector Michael Hoch: One billion in renovation costs - a conservative calculation

After the award ceremonies for prize-winning students, Rector Michael Hoch gave insights into current developments at the university. At a first university-wide research conference, six cross-disciplinary research areas had now been defined in which partners from science, politics, civil society and business were to answer important questions about the future of mankind across disciplinary and faculty boundaries.

With almost 40,000 students, including over 5,000 from abroad, the university's core task is to inspire young people with enthusiasm for scientific disciplines and to promote their individual potential, said Hoch. The internationalization of teaching will be expanded through the new Bonn Digital Science Center. In addition, the rector announced his intention to increase the proportion of female professors to at least 30 percent by 2026.

Hoch had to admit that the structural conditions of the university facility were to be described as "desolate" in many parts. Conservatively calculated construction and renovation costs currently amount to more than one billion euros.

(Orig. text: Stefan Hermes /Translation: ck)

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