University of Bayreuth, Press Release No 102/2022 - 28 June 2022

A successful degree programme is celebrating its 20th birthday: Philosophy & Economics at the University of Bayreuth

For more than 20 years, the University of Bayreuth (UBT) has offered a unique degree programme, Philosophy & Economics. At the beginning of the millennium, it was the first university in Germany to combine philosophy and economics in one degree programme, creating an offering that attracted students from all over Germany right from the start.

The special thing about "P&E" is that young people can study central issues of society, economics, and politics together, and apply this to a wide variety of professional fields. Among the graduates (in the pficture: the team of the "Bayreuther Dialoge" Conference) are ECB economists, diplomats, journalists, European parliamentarians, party founders, and professors. This is an expression of what distinguishes the University of Bayreuth: Innovative capacity and interdisciplinarity. "We have always been pioneers when it comes to reacting to changing social and work conditions. Sport, Business & Law, Health Economics, and Philosophy & Economics are three outstanding examples," says University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible. He emphasises the importance of the degree programme for UBT:

Very early on, P&E gave rise to important initiatives that shaped the University of Bayreuth, such as the 'Bayreuth Dialogues', which made a decisive contribution to our external image as a cosmopolitan, questioning, and discussion-friendly campus

University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible

"P&E" is also a result of the Bologna Process, in the course of which the traditional Diplom and Magister degree programmes were replaced by bachelor’s and master’s programmes. This gave universities great freedom to design entirely new, interdisciplinary degree programmes. With regard to later career opportunities, Prof. Dr. Rainer Hegselmann, as the driving force, developed the idea of a Philosophy & Economics programme at the University of Bayreuth at the end of the 1990s, with the support, in particular, of then University President Helmut Ruppert and through Prof. Dr. Bernhard Herz as the representative of Economics.

"Despite all the strategic and technical-organisational questions, the focus was always on the very pragmatic idea of developing a degree programme like the one we would have liked to study ourselves," said Prof. Dr. Bernhard Herz, Chair of Economics I - International Economics & Finance and P&E programme moderator.

The first P&E students took up their studies in the winter semester of 2000.  Indeed, they were characterised by a willingness to take risks. Especially in the early years of the still young degree programme, which is unique in Germany, students had to explain not only to future employers, but frequently also to their parents the benefits they hoped to gain upon graduation, and how they intended to earn a living. Those times are now history. The degree programme now has over a thousand graduates who - in keeping with the idea behind the programme – are working successfully in a very broad spectrum of fields. P&E graduates can be found in companies, public authorities, governments, start-ups, NGOs, and in the European Parliament. And we have already come full circle:  Julian Fink, a P&E graduate from the very beginning, has been recruited as a professor.

The University will celebrate this birthday (two years late due to coronavirus) on July 4th 2022. More about the programme:

Portrait Prof. Dr. Bernhard Herz

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Herz

Chair VWL I –International Economics & Finance

Faculty of Law, Business & Economics

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-6320

Portraitbild von Anja Maria Meister

Anja-Maria Meister

PR Spokesperson University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0) 921  55 - 5300