"Study without borders. Choose Europe!"

  • Joint call for participation in the European elections by the German Student Union (DSW), the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) and the Free Association of Student Unions (fzs)  
  • HRK touchstones on science policy published

Berlin. 8 May 2024. The German Rectors' Conference (HRK), the German National Association of Student Unions (fzs) and Deutsches Studierendenwerk (DSW) are jointly calling for a vote under the motto "Study without borders. Vote for Europe!" to take part in the European Parliament elections. The appeal to make use of their right to vote on 9 June 2024 is not only aimed at students, but at all university members. The three associations are also calling for fair, respectful and peaceful political competition.

The "Universities for Enlightenment" network, to which the HRK belongs along with nine other European rectors' conferences, is also campaigning for as many university members as possible to vote in the European elections. In the current statement "Universities choose Europe", the network recalls key achievements of the EU in the higher education sector and combines this with the call to work for a strong Europe in which cooperation in education and research is further expanded and academic freedom is firmly protected.

On Europe Day tomorrow, one month before the European elections in Germany, HRK President Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal explains: "The idea of European integration is particularly beneficial in academia. Exchange programs such as Erasmus+, EU research funding or the European university alliances - all of this brings universities and science in Europe closer together and moves them forward. German universities and their students, teachers, researchers and supporting staff often benefit from this on a very personal level. This may seem self-evident to us, but it is by no means.

Unfortunately, this also applies to the freedom of science. We must be concerned that populist, nationalist and illiberal anti-democratic forces, which make it very easy for themselves with protests and under-complex proposals for solutions, emphasize the divisive or pursue destructive plans, are on the rise everywhere in Europe. Limiting their influence can be achieved through objective opposition and a high turnout of democratically-minded citizens."

"European politics is shaping our lives more than ever. Students and all young people can and must use their vote to express their current and future interests. We must not leave Europe to the backward-looking. Use your right to vote, go and vote!" added Sascha Wellmann, member of the fzs Executive Board.

Prof. Dr. Beate Schücking, President of Deutsches Studierendenwerk, confirms: "Students from all over Europe come to German universities and many German students spend one or two semesters with our European neighbors. The bonds that are forged in this way support the European idea, which is being further developed and formulated in the EU Parliament. The future of the current generation of students can only be a European future. That is why it is important to vote on 9 June."

The science policy ideas and objectives of the major parties running for office in Germany can be seen, among other things, in the answers to the HRK's election test questions. The answers to eight questions are compared with each other for direct comparison. The HRK asked all the major parties currently represented in the Bundestag to participate in a standardized procedure for answering such questions.

The HRK's election test stones can be found here.

You can find this press release online


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