Ahead of tomorrow's hearing on the amendment to Academic Fixed-Term Contract Law: The HRK argues the case for keeping fixed-term opportunities

10. November 2015

The General Meeting of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) in Kiel has opposed plans to completely do away with fixed-term opportunities for non-academic and non-artistic staff working on third-party projects at universities. The draft amendment to Academic Fixed-Term Contract Law (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz) decided by the federal government would see these plans put into practice.

The Bundestag's Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment will conduct a hearing on the draft amendment tomorrow. The HRK has been invited to this hearing.

The HRK General Meeting pointed out that some project-related and non-academic tasks are no longer required once a project is complete. Permanent employment of the professionals who conduct these tasks is therefore not possible or sensible. As a result, the HRK argues that a fixed-term contract based on the project duration should be an option for both non-academic staff and academics.

In principle, the General Meeting was satisfied with the planned provisions for academic staff. It added that detailed legal provisions for fixed-term contracts for academic and artistic staff are counter-productive due to the range of possible qualification pathways and project formats.

"Universities want to take responsibility for staff, research and higher education policies and offer the people working on projects reliable framework conditions and a clear outlook," said HRK President Prof. Dr. Horst Hippler. "But they need adequate financing for this."