On 30 October, a joint campaign day will take place at all higher education institutions of Baden-Württemberg. The goal of the campaign is to draw attention to the huge financial challenges the universities are facing with drastic budget cuts on the horizon. In order to call university members and citizens alike to action, the University of Mannheim and its student body representatives will be holding an information event as well as a demonstration in the Ehrenhof. The campaign day will kick off at 12:30 p.m. with an information session for students organized by the general student committee (AStA). The official information event and demonstration will start at 1 p.m., where Prof. Thomas Puhl (President of the University of Mannheim), Achim Brötz (head of the Staff Council) as well as Katharina Fischer, Kai-Uwe Herrenkind and Robert Wehnert (AStA board) will inform the general public and the university members about the ongoing negotiations of the new higher education financing agreement. At the end of the event, students of all higher education institutions of Mannheim are invited to join the joint protest march through the city center. Other higher education institutions taking part in the events are the University of Applied Sciences Mannheim, the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts as well as the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Mannheim (DHBW).
The campaign was launched in response to current negotiations between the nine higher education institutions of Baden-Württemberg and the Ministry of Finance. A new higher education financing agreement will determine the financial resources available to universities starting from January 2021. The details of the agreement have yet to be decided in the coming weeks, but so far, it does not look very promising. The university presidents and the student body representatives are greatly concerned as the financial future of the universities is at stake.
The numbers speak for themselves. Although universities have seen a staggering increase in enrollment numbers in the past years, the Land has not increased their budgetary funding since 1998. Adjusted for inflation, universities in Baden-Württemberg currently receive 33 percent less per student than at the turn of the millennium.The universities are not even able to cover the increase in costs that has arisen due to the lack of inflationary adjustment alone. The lack of funds is palpable in numerous areas, including teaching, research, infrastructure, and tackling new tasks delegated by the Land in recent years.
Despite the evident need for more funding, it currently does not look as though the new agreement will provide the universities with better financial resources. Should their already dire financial situation become even worse, it will not be possible for universities to keep admitting the same number of students, or to maintain the current level of service for students and researchers.
Program for 30 October Campaign Day NoScienceNoFuture
12:30 p.m., Ehrenhof of the University of Mannheim
12:30 p.m. Information for students by AStA
1 p.m. Central information event and demonstration in the Ehrenhof
with Prof. Thomas Puhl (President), Achim Brötz (head of the Staff Council), Katharina Fischer, Kai-Uwe Herrenkind and Robert Wehnert (AStA board)
from 2 p.m. Joint protest march of the students of the University of Mannheim and all other higher education institutions of Mannheim