Annual Review: University Highly Successful in Research but Facing New Challenges

Over the past academic year, the University of Mannheim was not only remarkably successful in its extensive research activities, but also able to maintain its position in national and international rankings. During the annual press conference, Prof. Puhl, President of the University of Mannheim and Barbara Windscheid, Executive Vice President, took stock of the past academic year and looked ahead at upcoming challenges.

They established a number of notable successes. Economist Prof. Michèle Tertilt was awarded the most prestigious German research award, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. Moreover, the University of Mannheim was able to secure funding for the first Collaborative Research Center (CRC) with a focus on business administration (TRR 266 Accounting for Transparency) together with the University of Paderborn and other partners. The total grant amounts to 12 million euros. The Leibniz ScienceCampus MannheimTax (MaTax) that was established in 2014 received funding in the amount of 1.7 million euros for four more years from the Land of Baden-Württemberg and the Leibniz Association. The Leibniz ScienceCampus is a joint initiative of the University of Mannheim and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW). New funds secure its renowned expertise in corporate taxation, public finance and tax law. The analyses show that the university was also able to maintain its leading position in various rankings.

Nonetheless, the university is faced with new challenges. The number of applicants for bachelor's programs has receded slightly, following the nationwide trend. In addition, continuous underfinancing by the Land of Baden-Württemberg poses great financial challenges for the university. Currently, the university is in negotiations with the Land for a new higher education funding agreement (Hochschulfinanzierungsvertrag II), demanding significantly higher funding in order to still be able to fulfill its tasks in research and teaching in the future.

“These developments do not only concern Mannheim. Many German universities face the same kinds of challenges. For us this means that we need to focus on and expand our strengths and steer in the opposite direction by setting the right priorities,” says President Puhl.Following this line of thinking, the University of Mannheim is intensifying its recruiting efforts in order to attract the brightest minds and as many prospective students as possible. At the same time, quality assurance measures and an expansion of its digital learning environment are measures to continuously develop the quality of teaching at the university. Furthermore, the university plans to expand its collaborative research conducted in cooperation with the three Leibniz Institutes ZEW, IDS and GESIS in Mannheim and to reinforce its internationalization measures. The University of Mannheim’s membership in a network of the twelve leading European universities in business and social sciences (ALEUESS) is an excellent example for this.

Linda Schädler
Media Spokeswoman
University of Mannheim
Phone: +49 162 181-1434