Joint Statement of the Executive Boards of the German Rectors’ Conference and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany on the situation of the rare disciplines, 7 December 2017
The so-called rare disciplines form an integral part of the diverse German research landscape. They are essential for the preservation of relevant specialist compe-tences, contribute to the preservation of our cultural heritage and also promote in-ternational profile-building and networking by German universities. Many are world-renowned. Rare disciplines make a crucial contribution to the advancement of scholarship, science and culture, and create a solid basis for responding to current social and political challenges.
In light of the above, the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) draw attention to the following points:
1. The KMK and the HRK recognise the importance of safeguarding and con-tinuing to develop the rare disciplines, and also securing the next generation of researchers over the long term.
2. The KMK and the HRK are unanimous in the view that insights into the dy-namics of the development of the rare disciplines are an indispensable foundation for the further strategic development of the research system, and will hence be needed by both university leadership and government to an even greater extent in the future.
3. The initiative by the Office for Research on Rare Disciplines at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz on the mapping of rare and emerging disciplines at universities constitutes an important information source. This data is currently being integrated into an online platform as part of a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The goal is to retain and further develop the Office. In this overall context, the KMK and the HRK welcome the considerable commitment shown by the federal government to the rare disciplines.
4. The federal states and the universities that are represented in the HRK will dedicate particular attention to the safeguarding and continued development of the rare disciplines, using the competences of the Office for Research on Small Disciplines and in particular its mapping. They will provide timely information to each other about planned changes and will make changes in a measured fashion in order to ensure the preservation of the rare disciplines at German universities through transparent alignment between the states.
5. In addition, the states and the universities represented in the HRK will pro-mote and support a European dialogue on issues relating to the rare disci-plines.
Berlin, 07 December 2017