27. December 2021

2021 at the University of Bonn in review 2021 in Review

2021 was an eventful year with many ups and downs. We look back at the highlights in the news and press releases of the University of Bonn.

Graduation Walk
Graduation Walk - Students celebrating their graduation in front of the University's main building. © Photo: Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn
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First pure postal vote for the student parliament

Due to the Corona pandemic, this year's elections for the student parliament and University committees are being held for the first time as an all-mail election. Approximately 37,700 registered students are called upon to cast their ballots. The University of Bonn has sent out a corresponding number of letters with the election documents. Voter turnout is 17.3 percent, significantly higher than in previous years (2020: 14.8%, 2019: 14.7%). Read more

University of Bonn receives Erasmus University Charter again

The University of Bonn will participate in the Erasmus+ program of the European Union (EU) for another seven years. With this program, the European Union supports education, youth and sports with a budget in the billions. Based on Bonn's application, which was rated "excellent," the University of Bonn will again receive the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education for seven years, which entitles it to participate in all funding lines of the EU's new generation of Erasmus+ programs and is the legal basis for participation in Erasmus. Read more


New UNESCO Chair at the University of Bonn

UNESCO has joined forces with the University of Bonn to establish the UNESCO Chair in Human-Water Systems, which will be held by geographer Prof. Dr. Mariele Evers. There are now 14 UNESCO Chairs in Germany which are contributing to the implementation of the Global Sustainability Agenda. Through their work, these chairs strengthen cooperation with universities, other research institutions and social actors in countries of the Global South, in Germany and in Europe. They are non-financial awards of already existing chairs that fulfill special socially relevant tasks. Read more


University board has gender parity for the first time

The University of Bonn's University Electoral Assembly has elected four female and two male vice rectors whose terms will begin in May 2021. The assembly, composed of members of the Senate and the University Council, had met online due to the pandemic, and voting took place by mail ballot. Two additional vice rectorates have been created while the Rectorate’s areas of responsibility have been redefined. For the first time, the Rectorate of the University of Bonn has gender parity: Bonn is the second University of Excellence in Germany to have as many women as men on its governing body. Read more


First Argelander professorship at the University of Bonn

How can different actors make joint decisions when they have different information or have to incorporate uncertainties? Mathematician and economic theorist Dr. Florian Brandl deals with this and other questions. He has taken up the first Argelander Professorship on April 1. The professorship was established by the University of Bonn within the framework of the Excellence Strategy for excellent young researchers who combine different disciplines. In Florian Brandl's research, these are mathematics, economics and computer science. Read more

Millions in funding for start-up activities

The University of Bonn is launching the "U BO GROW" project, funded by the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy with 3.2 million euros. The project, which is funded until the end of 2024, is intended to significantly advance start-up activities from the university. The aim of the funding is to create excellent start-up support for founders within the University and thus to transfer the existing potential into products, services and young companies ("spin-offs"). The new services are located at the University's Transfer Center enaCom.

New building offers excellent conditions for excellent research

The "Biomedical Center II" on Bonn's Venusberg Campus is inaugurated with a hybrid celebration. NRW Minister of Economic Affairs Prof. Andreas Pinkwart gave a keynote speech on digitalization. The construction work for of the new building had been started in 2017. 


Michael Hoch once again "Rector of the Year"

Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch receives the "Rector/President of the Year" award from the German University Association (DHV) for the second time in a row for his exemplary leadership. The award is based on an online survey of the association's 33,000 members. With a predicate grade of 1.51, Prof. Hoch achieved the top mark and did even better than the previous year, when the DHV members in Bonn gave him a grade of 1.55. More than two-thirds of the participants see him as "the ideal individual" for his position. The Rector will use the prize money of 10,000 euros for a joint project with students. Read more


University of Bonn joins "Magna Charta Universitatum

The Magna Charta Observatory in Bologna has accepted the University of Bonn as a signatory of the Magna Charta Universitatum. In a digital ceremony, the participating universities join via video message. The document, signed by Rector Hoch, had been sent in advance to the Magna Charta Observatory. The Magna Charta Universitatum describes the self-image of universities in Europe and around the world, based on the idea of scientific autonomy and freedom. Nearly one thousand universities around the globe are now committed to these values.


University of Bonn fills first Schlegel professorship with theologian

The Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn is receiving excellent reinforcement in the person of Prof. Dr. Klaus von Stosch. The theologian, who until now has taught in Paderborn, is considered a "global player" in Catholic theology and an expert in comparative theology with a focus on Islam. He has accepted a call to the first "Schlegel Professorship" in Bonn, which was created as part of the Excellence Strategy. Schlegel Professorships (named after the Bonn philologist August Wilhelm Schlegel, 1767-1845) are intended to attract particularly outstanding researchers in order to strengthen excellent subjects in international competition. Read more

Help for flood victims

In mid-July, heavy rainfall triggered a flood disaster in large parts of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. University members were among those who lost homes and household goods in the disaster. With the instantly started "WIR helfen" campaign, the University administration has collected donations and provided unbureaucratic assistance. Those affected and those helping them were given special leave. An online help exchange put those in need and those helping in contact.


Graduation as a walk

With the "Graduation Walk", the University of Bonn said goodbye to the current class in a new format. Around 3,000 guests, including 900 graduates in gowns, visited the graduation ceremony in the Hofgarten throughout the day, where they were entertained, photographed, filmed and drawn. The highlight of the tour was the presentation of the decorative certificates by the deans of the faculties. Weeks before, greetings could be placed and congratulations left on the University Festival website. Individual graduation videos ("I did it!") could also be created and digital greeting cards sent. Read more


Honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Catholic Theology

The Faculty of Catholic Theology has awarded an honorary doctorate to Adelgunde Brenninkmeijer-Werhahn for special contributions to Jewish-Christian dialogue and Christian marriage and family theology. The honoree is founder of the Centre for the Study of Christianity at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, founder of the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies at the Gregoriana, Rome, and founder and director of the International Academy for Marital Spirituality Leuven/Brussels. Read more

First Hertz professorship filled by ethics expert Christiane Woopen

Ethicist Christiane Woopen, previously of the University of Cologne, will take over the first Hertz Professorship at the University of Bonn. The Excellence Professorship is located in the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Individuals, Institutions and Societies". Woopen will focus her research, teaching and consulting on life and the conditions for its unfolding and success. Hertz professorships are financed by excellence funds and are intended to help further develop new research fields and methods in Transdisciplinary Research Areas. They are filled by excellent researchers who are considered leaders in their respective fields according to international peer review. Read more


Opening of the Academic Year

The University of Bonn kicked off the Academic Year 2021/22 with a ceremony in the Aula. Top-class discussion panels on the topics of "Excellence in Science" and "Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness" were as much a part of the program of the hybrid event, which was simultaneously streamed on the Internet, as the impressive keynote address by the President of the Max Planck Society, Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann. The ceremony also included the awarding of state prizes donated by various governments and the prize of the German Academic Exchange Service to outstanding young scientists* and committed students. Read more

"Green Office" opened

The University of Bonn has opened a "Green Office" as a central point of contact for the topic of sustainability and to promote exchange between students, faculty and other employees of the University. The student sustainability office works closely with the Vice rectorate for Sustainability and the University's Sustainability Office. The Green Office is also formally affiliated with the latter. The Green Office is located at Genscherallee 2. In 2022, it will organize a university-wide sustainability conference for the first time, which will ideally take place annually thereafter. Read more


Provost Holger Gottschalk elected for another six years

The University Electional Assembly, composed of members of the Senate and University Council, has elected Provost Holger Gottschalk for another six-year term, beginning Jan. 1, 2023. Gottschalk has served at the University of Bonn since 2017 and was invited to run again by the University Council and Senate this summer. Read more


Moritz Schularick receives a Leibniz Prize

For his excellent research achievements, Prof. Dr. Moritz Schularick will receive the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, which is endowed with 2.5 million euros. This was announced by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in December. The director of the MacroFinance Lab and a member of the ECONtribute Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bonn, Schularick's scientific work on topics such as financial market stability, inequality and the history of the economy has achieved great resonance beyond the professional world. The highly endowed award allows the laureates great freedom in their research. Read more

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