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Press release No. 137/2010, 2010-09-01 | zur deutschen Fassung | print version | Search

Parliamentary Evening at the Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel

The Excellence Initiative proposal has been submitted

Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel (CAU) is applying for the second phase of the Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments in all three funding lines: (1) the institutional strategy to promote project-oriented top-level research, (2) the Graduate School and (3) the Cluster of Excellence. The proposal for the funding of an institutional strategy was submitted by 1 September 2010. The University's strategy will be presented to friends, sponsors and partners at the parliamentary evening today, 1 September 2010, in CAU's Zoological Museum.

Professor Fouquet, President of CAU, stated: "With almost 100 million euros in third-party funding, two Clusters of Excellence, an Excellence Graduate School, as well as nine Collaborative Research Centres and further collaborative research projects, we as a middle-sized university with approximately 22,500 students have found the courage to enter this highly ambitious competition. Our institutional strategy and Excellence proposal originated within a broadly-oriented communication process during the past months. In our think tanks Studying and Teaching, Young Researchers, Society, Internationalization, Top-level Research, Governance, Junior Scientists and Students, ideas were pooled and concepts were developed in open discourse. It is this unique process, whose dynamics encompassed the whole University, that lends the strategy its particular sustainability and paves the way to lasting success. We wish to thank all CAU staff, our friends, sponsors and partners from the scientific, industrial and social communities for their support. We thank Kiel University's Senate for its emphatic approval, and all the deans for their assistance. We are delighted that the federal state government of Schleswig-Holstein will continue to support Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel on its path to excellence."

In the second funding phase, which begins in November 2012, a good 2.7 billion euros will be available to the universities for all three funding lines. The federal government will fund 75 per cent; the federal states will provide 25 per cent. The funding period is five years. All draft proposals submitted by 1 September will be subjected to a two-step selection procedure. In the spring of 2011, following an international review of all proposals submitted, approximately 18 applicants will be invited to file a full proposal. Of these, a maximum of 12 institutional strategies will then be selected for funding by June 2012.

A special guest of the parliamentary evening is Dr Wilhelm Krull, General Secretary of the Volkswagen Foundation in Hanover and chairman of the board of the Association of German Foundations. Krull, who has great experience of the Excellence Initiative and of this particular form of research funding, emphasizes in his lecture entitled Room for Creative Research. The Excellence Competition and Its Impact: “Already in its first phase the Excellence Initiative created a welcome stir within the German university and research landscape. We very much appreciate that it is proceeding in this competitive manner – thus proving itself to be a living system. And CAU, which has already been highly successful in both of the first funding lines, now has the possibility to make the most of its chances in the third funding line, with a convincing institutional strategy.“

Vice President Professor Thomas Bosch, who is responsible for the institutional strategy and CAU's internationalization, regards the strategy as an opportunity for becoming a successful 21st century university. “With its institutional strategy, Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel stands for continuous renewal in research, teaching, society and ethics. It sees itself as well equipped for the challenges of the future and is elaborating new perspectives for life in the 21st century. Realizing its institutional strategy will allow CAU to become a leading university in northern Europe, and a paradigmatic example of a renewed German university, which simultaneously proudly looks back on a 350 year tradition."

In a situation of relatively constant state funding, significantly raising the long-term level of excellence in both research and teaching at Kiel University can be achieved by two main mechanisms: (1) actively nurturing excellence in the present research force, and (2) providing strong incentives to gain excellent researchers. Such mechanisms are perfectly adapted to CAU, as a comprehensive university of interconnected academic cultures, and can be implemented through a simple yet radical structural re-organisation of the University: open, peer-reviewed competition for all research funds.

Flanking initiatives to particularly strengthen the position of young researchers and women in the University, while integrating excellent teaching into the strategy, round out a package. This will give CAU Kiel a leading role in the reforming of German university structure, and sharpen and highlight its excellence in competitiveness both within Germany and internationally.

CAU describes itself as a university of interconnected academic cultures. At the federal state university and sole full university of Schleswig-Holstein, researchers and academic staff interact in networks across faculty boundaries. Kiel University builds on its strength and proven excellence in interdisciplinary research, particularly evident in the four research foci “Marine and Geosciences”, “Applied Life Sciences”, “Surface Sciences and Nanotechnology” and “Societal, Environmental, Cultural Change”, its Excellence Clusters “The Future Ocean”, “Inflammations at Interfaces” and “Materials for Life” (under application), as well as its Graduate School.

CAU cooperates particularly closely with non-university institutions and strong partners from the industrial and social communities. It will further strengthen these collaborations in the future. The University is an integral part of Kiel and the Schleswig-Holstein area, consolidating research and business structures in this region.

Link to the Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments

Link to the new Excellence Initiative homepage

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Caption: The Excellence Initiative proposal is submitted.
From left: Dr. Oliver Herrmann, Registrar CAU; Professor Siegfried Wolffram, Vice President CAU Research; Professor Thomas Bosch, Vice President CAU, responsible for the institutional strategy and for internationalization; Dr. Cordelia Andreßen, Secretary of State, Ministry of Science, Economic Affairs and Transport of the State of Schleswig-Holstein; Dr. Wilhelm Krull, General Secretary Volkswagen Foundation Hannover; Professor Gerhard Fouquet, President of CAU and Professor Frank Kempken, Vice President CAU Teaching.
Copyright: CAU Kiel, Photo: Axel Schön

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Caption: At the parliamentary evening the University's institutional strategy is presented to friends, sponsors and partners of Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel.
Copyright: CAU Kiel, Photo: Axel Schön

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Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Press and Communication Services, comm. head: Dr. Anke Feiler-Kramer
Address: D-24098 Kiel, phone: +49 (0431) 880-2104, fax: +49 (0431) 880-1355