New Minister Visits University of Mannheim / Emphasis on the Importance of the Social Sciences / Discussion with Students

Petra Olschowski, the new Minister of Science, Research, and the Arts in Baden-Württemberg, visited the University of Mannheim on Friday. President Professor Dr. Thomas Puhl is also chair of the Rectors’ Conference of Baden-Württemberg’s universities (Landesrektorenkonferenz (LRK)). The minister also talked to students.

On Friday morning, Petra Olschowski was warmly welcomed in Mannheim by President Professor Dr. Thomas Puhl, Executive Vice President Barbara Windscheid, and the Vice Presidents. “We are very happy about the visit of Minister Petra Olschowski”, says Puhl. “Due to the pandemic and the energy crisis, higher education institutions are facing substantial challenges. We need political support in order to master these challenges. Meeting the Minister is of great importance to me as President of the University of Mannheim but also as chair of the LRK.”

Besides talking to President Puhl, Minister Olschowski also talked to students while visiting the University of Mannheim. “Due to the pandemic, our students, in particular, had to endure severe restrictions of the teaching operations during the last two years. Now they also have to deal with rising energy prices. Talking to students about the difficulties they experience is very important to me”, says the Minister.

Olschowski was particularly interested in the research and teaching activities in the field of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim. National and international rankings regularly confirm the high level of research and teaching at the university. Professor Dr. Irena Kogan, holder of the chair of Sociology and Societal Comparisons at the University of Mannheim, as well as Professor Dr. Christof Wolf, President of GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, presented the work of the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) and GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences.

The Minister gained profound insights into research and teaching at the University of Mannheim. Professor Stefan Reichelstein, Ph.D., holder of the endowed chair of Business Administration and director of the Mannheim Institute for Sustainable Energy Studies (MISES) presented the research activities in the field of sustainability at the University of Mannheim.

“Education and research are helping us in facing the key challenges of our society – and climate change is one of these challenges. The research and teaching activities at the University of Mannheim and other higher education institutions are contributing significantly to finding solutions for these problems”, says Olschowski.