In Berlin last week, the Senate of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) voted to adopt the “Basic principles for a long-term Federal/State Government programme to recruit professors at universities of applied sciences”. According to the Senate, at present there is an insufficient number of early career academics who meet the requirements for a professorship at a university of applied sciences. These positions require not only a doctoral degree, but also at least three years of relevant experience outside academia.
HRK President Prof Dr Horst Hippler added: “Now that the Federal and State Governments have got the early career pact for universities off the ground, the programme outlined by the HRK should ensure that an adequate number of places can be offered in practically oriented courses of study in the future.” According to the spokesperson of the HRK Member Group for Universities of Applied Sciences, Prof Dr Karim Khazar: “The HRK Senate had called for the strengthening of research and development and of academic staff at universities of applied sciences in June. The programme concept now gives concrete shape to this demand, and signals how urgent and important this issue is for the diverse German higher education system.”
Key elements of the HRK concept include:
• As part of a competitive process, the universities should have the opportunity to apply for the funding of measures that respond to their specific needs and problems and incorporate their particular concepts for career development.
• Funding might be provided, among others, for special forms of collaboration with the business sector, in-service training for university teaching, or the development of new career paths for professorships in subjects that are usually not offered by traditional universities, and specially endowed profile professorships.
• An overhead for strategic planning should be included in the respective funding amount.
• The programme should be set up on a long-term basis.
• A nationwide information campaign should serve to alert doctoral candidates at an early stage to the options of a career at a university of applied sciences.
HRK President Hippler: “There is a heightened awareness of our issue in the Education Ministries at both Federal and State Government levels. The concept presented by the HRK Senate has now laid the foundation for the necessary political decisions.”
Text of the recommendation