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17 July 2006

Self-Definition: University of Heidelberg Presents Annual Report 2005

Rectorate of the University of Heidelberg presents Annual Report with information on the main events and the financial development in 2005 — 140-page document with annual statement of accounts, including balance sheet and profit and loss account

This is the second time that the Rectorate of the University of Heidelberg has presented an Annual Report. The document informs its readers of the main events and developments in 2005 and also contains an overview of financial matters in that year. The 140-page Report provides a concise account of the outstanding higher-education policy developments affecting the University and lists its academic achievements in the period in question. It rounds off with the annual statement of accounts, including the balance sheet and the profit and loss account.

For the University of Heidelberg the year 2005 was as successful as it was turbulent. In the chapter "Etching Profiles" the Annual Report 2005 discusses first the higher-education policy parameters that have a special bearing on the University and then details the restructuring processes set in train to enhance the University's profile as a full-scale, research-oriented seat of learning. The account foregrounds the University's ability to deal with difficult change processes under its own steam, thus proving once again that it can live up to the opportunities provided by the autonomy it has been granted and underlining its confidence in making the best possible use of the additional scope it looks forward to receiving in the future.

The overhaul of the economics department under the heading "Political Economy" is geared to the implementation of an interdisciplinary design that draws crucially on the networking potential available to a traditional, full-scale university. Transregional cooperative ventures in the earth sciences and information technology testify to the determination of all those involved to make optimally efficient use of the resources provided by the tax-payers. Optimisation is also writ large in connection with the medical sector, where the University has taken a resolute approach to unifying medical teaching and research at its two different locations (Heidelberg and Mannheim).

The chapter entitled "The Bid for Excellence" indicates that the preliminary stages of the Excellence Initiative instituted by the Federal and state governments have already had a galvanising effect. Here the reader can find out more about the most important research developments in 2005. Special prominence is given to the measures undertaken to encourage junior scientists and scholars. With the adoption of the central recommendations from the Senate and the initiation of the Graduate Academy, the University's response promises future success both in organisational and structural terms.

As the University of Heidelberg explicitly upholds its allegiance to Humboldt's concept of the unity of research and teaching, it devotes just as much attention to instruction and student care as it does to research. An especially eloquent token of this conviction is the RES STUD project, designed to improve and modernise services for the students. The University has also made good progress in switching to the new BA/MA degree-course structure.

The chapter "International Exchange" highlights the University's extensive international relations and the vitalising effect they have on its research activities. The chapters "Places for Teaching — Places for Research", "Research as a Vocation" and "Maintaining Connections with the University" describe the University's activities in other important sectors.

The annual statement of accounts for 2005 provides a detailed overview of financial developments at the University. As in the previous year the University ended 2005 with financial losses (an annual deficit amounting to € 1,724,314.55 compared to € 2,255,896.76 at the end of 2004). This deficit was however largely caused by one-off effects deriving from a change in accounting principles in connection with external funding. These one-off effects are reflected in the negative extraordinary result (€ – 1,419,883.21). By contrast, the result from the ordinary course of business (€ – 299,178.78) shows that this sector contributed only slightly to the annual deficit. As current business of the University is reflected in this result, the progress made over and against the year before (€ – 2,252,038.48) is an encouraging signal for the business year 2006. The increase in the reserves for vacations and overtime is largely responsible for the negative result for the ordinary course of business.

The Rector of the University of Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Peter Hommelhoff, presented the Annual Report to the public at a press conference on 17 July 2006.

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

Inquiries on the annual statement of accounts should go to:
Tim Krützfeldt
University of Heidelberg
Business and Finance Department
Phone: 06221/542323, fax: 542618

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

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