Competition: Family-friendly higher education institutions in Germany wanted
Against a backdrop of demographic change, being family-oriented and family-friendly is now increasingly important for German HEIs in the battle to win students and academics.
The Robert Bosch Foundation, the Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs, Wolfgang Tiefensee, in his role as Federal Government Commissioner for the New Federal States, and the CHE – Centre for Higher Education Development have launched the “Family in Higher Education Environments” competition. Higher education institutions (HEIs) from all over Germany are being asked to suggest projects that practise and develop family-friendly policies in HEIs. Funding of up to 100,000 euros each will be provided for two years for the best projects from eight HEIs, at least four of them from the new Laender.
At a press conference held on 17th September 2007, Dr. Ingrid Hamm, member of the management board of the Robert Bosch Foundation said: “We decided to make a contribution to this scheme in a place where many young people meet over many years: the higher education institutions. It is here that we need to have a motivating, supporting and understanding culture for young people who intend to start their own family.
HEIs are not only places of work and training, they are also living environments and the central location for life planning for students over many years. HEIs therefore bear a special responsibility: a family-friendly HEI is a key factor in helping highly-qualified academics and potential parents especially shape their lives. However, when it comes to starting a family, students and academics are finding only little support and understanding so far.
The objective of the “Family in Higher Education Environments” programme is to encourage HEIs to become more family-friendly institutions and to develop practical offers. The general focus is on creating an atmosphere at HEIs that allows for study programmes and training to be compatible with starting a family.
The eight HEIs selected will collaborate in a Best Practice Club. In this way, regular meetings, lectures and on-site visits will generate additional value.
“In terms of family support, HEIs are already on the right path,” said Detlef Müller-Böling, head of the CHE. But he stressed: “Nevertheless, apart from sensible framework conditions, we also need a general change in mindset if we don’t want to continue wasting key potential in our academic institutions. The Best Practice Club intends to have an effect on this, too.”
(from left) Dr. Ingrid Hamm, Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee and Prof. Detlef Müller-Böling at the Berlin press conference to launch the contest.
Further information and application forms are available on the “Family in Higher Education Environments” website.
Further Information can be found in the publication stated below.