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22 November 2005

University of Heidelberg Issues First "Business Report"

Comprehensive account of achievements — Strategy implementation brings profound alterations — Traditional commitments unchanged — New annual statement of accounts with balance sheet and profit and loss accounts

The University of Heidelberg is one of the first in Germany to have introduced a commercial accounting system. Now it has gone a stage further, combining its annual statement of accounts with the annual report of the Rectorate to form a "business report" of the kind issued by commercial enterprises. The document presents a comprehensive picture of the achievements of the University in 2004 and is an important communication medium both within and outside the University.

One new feature is the structure and the graphic presentation of the Rector's report (Part 1 of the document). Its organisation is no longer divided up in accordance with the administrative structure of the University but is geared to topics of major import. This layout makes it even clearer that the University is undergoing a process of profound change caused by the implementation of its strategic plans for the future. On the other hand, the title page with the replica of the University Charter of 1386 is a sign that the University intends to uphold its allegiance to its venerable traditions and indeed regards this allegiance as an essential prerequisite in squaring up to the tasks the future holds.

The main events of 2004 in connection with higher education policy are set out under the heading "Growing with Challenges". This section also indicates how the University intends to master these challenges. Central topics here are the amendments to the state higher-education law, discussion on special support for top-flight universities and the requirement that universities should live up to the greater autonomy conceded to them by adopting professional management structures.

The chapter "Attracting the Best" covers a wide range of subjects, from awards conferred on Heidelberg scientists and scholars, the selection, support, and supervision of students and young academics and research activities at the University to continuing academic education and the commitment displayed by the students. The University of Heidelberg's large number of international contacts and ventures are set out in detail in the section entitled "Open for the World".

The fact that excellence in science and scholarship can only thrive if the infrastructure is equally excellent — from buildings and child care to communications technology — is enlarged upon in the section "New Avenues", together with an account of the efforts undertaken in Heidelberg to ensure that this is in fact the case. The final section "Links with the University" impressively demonstrates how the "living spirit" inscribed over the entrance of the New University building not only continues to leave its mark on the University itself but also shines out into the surrounding region and far beyond.

The second part of the business report contains a number of facts and figures in table form and above all the University's financial accounts. Alongside the annual statement with the balance sheet, the profit and loss accounts and the annex, it also presents a report on the present situation and includes the auditor's report.

As set out in the annex, the University of Heidelberg completed the financial year 2004 with a deficit of 2.3 million euros. This is very largely due to a drop in revenue over and against the previous year and accordingly an expression of the difficult financial conditions that universities and other institutions of higher learning have to live with at the moment. To offset the risks resulting from this shortfall, measures have been taken to reduce expenditure and achieve an improvement in the revenue situation. Initial success are already discernible and expectations are high for a substantially better showing in the financial year 2005.

An insert included in the business report is designed to facilitate access to the annual statements of accounts for the Faculty of Medicine.

Please address any inquiries to
Tobias Just
University of Heidelberg
Offices of the University Council
phone: 06221/544400, fax: 544402

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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