Bavarian Ministry of Science Announces New University Law

As universities across Germany prepare to start the winter semester virtually, the Bavarian Ministry of Science is working on a new university law which among others aims to strengthen the talent promotion and entrepreneurship at universities.

Bavaria’s government has announced the key points of the project recently, whereas it is still unclear when the draft law will be put on the table, Erudera College News reports.

Science Minister Bernd Sibler who also announced the project said that the law aims to bring a change in the system, which will be unique in Germany.

“A modern university structure is required in order to be able to even better exploit the potential of all Bavarian universities and their function for society,” he said.

The University Innovation Act’s purpose is to summarize the previous university act as well as the University Personnel Act. Among the models is the university law in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The proposed legal framework is more about freedom and personal responsibility for universities, meaning universities should become legal entities and have the right to decide on budgets, projects and more.

The spokeswoman for the Bavarian universities and Augsburg’s University President, Professor Sabine Doering-Manteuffel has welcomed the idea of more autonomy, dynamism and divergence at universities.

According to her, conveying scientific work to society is more important than ever.

Moreover, she said that the state should create clear requirements; otherwise, the universities will enter in a self-discovery process which could jeopardize them instead of offering them progress.

“The Reform Could Harm Freedom of Expression”

Regarding the new reform, the Erlangen University’s lawyer said it could lead to an end of body structures at universities, meaning that the right of professors to give opinions could be endangered.

Whereas, the current heads of universities of excellence LMU and TU Munich expressed interests on discussions over the reform, but haven’t been approached by the state government yet.

According to the President of one of the smallest universities in the country, the KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Gabriele Gien, this reform is especially important for international cooperation.

Among others, the university reform intends to encourage universities to expand their further training offers for employees and other interested parties as well as to strongly promote the establishment of start-ups.

The planned university reform is part of the Hightech Agenda Bayern technology offensive to strengthen the whole Bavaria.

The state plans to establish 1,000 new professorships, 10,000 new study places as well as 20 research centres, with a focus on science and artificial intelligence. The amount of money planned to spend on reform is a total of two billion euros.

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