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New Home for the Life Sciences in Bavaria: University of Bayreuth Opens Seventh Faculty in Kulmbach  

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University of Bayreuth, Press release No. 037/2019, 29. March 2019

Accompanied by top-class lectures and celebrity well-wishers, the Faculty VII for Life Sciences:  Food, Nutrition and Health of the University of Bayreuth was officially opened today in Kulmbach.  "This is a real win-win situation: both the University and the entire region of Upper Franconia will benefit from this new higher education offering," said Science Minister Bernd Sibler at the event.  By 2025, up to 1,000 young people are to study in Kulmbach and 22 professorships are to be established.  Their research questions are the causal relationships between disease risk and lifestyle, the influence of individual, cultural or socio-economic factors on the health, and supplying people with healthy food.


"We are happy and proud that today we can open our seventh faculty, the Faculty of Life Sciences:  Food, Nutrition and Health, the Kulmbach Campus of the University of Bayreuth," said University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible. "Only 21 months have passed from the idea to this day.  In this short time, we have brought together the relevant players, developed concepts and involved the international research community.  The fruit of our labours is really something to be proud of!"

Leible was alluding to the actual courses of study to be offered in Kulmbach, and which are not to be found at any other university in Germany.  These are: the Master’s programme "Food Quality and Safety" (in English, already starting in October 2020), virtually tailor-made for Kulmbach as a centre of industry, federal institutes (Max Rubner Institute as well as the newly founded Institute for Authentic Food) and Bavarian authorities (e.g. KErn, Bavarian Control Authority for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs) in the field of food.  In this way, a thorough inter-meshing with the local actors should be achieved as quickly as possible.  This is to be followed as soon as possible by a second Master's programme, "Global Food, Nutrition and Health".  Both courses will be interdisciplinary and will be offered in English.  The introduction of a German-language course of studies "Food and Health Sciences" will follow as soon as the faculty has grown in personnel.  Also in planning:  "Molecular Food and Health Science" (Bachelor’s programme, scientific, in English), "Food and Health Sciences" (Master’s programme, interdisciplinary, in German), "Health, Food and Society" (Master’s programme, in English) and "Molecular Food and Health Science" (Master’s programme, in English).

Bernd Sibler, Bavarian State Minister of Education, Science and the Arts, also praised this interdisciplinary and technical depth:  "Kulmbach, as a hot spot of food and nutrition, is the ideal location for the establishment of a life science faculty at the University of Bayreuth on its own university campus.  With a well thought-out overall concept and great commitment, the parties involved have fulfilled the great demands placed on any new institution in the university sector, albeit partial.  This results in a genuine win-win situation:  Both the University and the entire Upper Franconian region will benefit from this new tertiary offering,” Minister of State Bernd Sibler emphasised today at the opening ceremony.

The opening of the faculty is an important milestone on the way to Kulmbach becoming a university city", said Henry Schramm, Lord Mayor of the city of Kulmbach and President of the District Council, and added:  "The Bavarian State Government has provided a far-reaching stimulus for the entire region with its resolutions on the University Campus of Kulmbach.  We are very grateful for that.  With our strong players in the food industry and trade as well as the high-class research facilities already operating on site, Kulmbach offers an optimal environment for the academic orientation of this faculty.  Now it's time for all of us to continue working hard together to make this once in a life-time project a success for Kulmbach." 

Prof. Dr. Stephan Clemens, founding dean of Faculty VII, said at the event:  "We want to break new ground with this faculty.  A wide range of subjects, from biochemistry to sociology, will work together on issues that are some of the world’s major challenges:   How do we provide as many people as possible with high-quality, healthy food?  And how can we slow down the rapid increase in diseases of modern civilization, such as diabetes, the causes of which are to a large extent to be found in our diet, and in our way of life in general?  In teaching, we want to become as international as possible, in particular to develop English-language, interdisciplinary courses of study and thus offer attractive education for students from all over the world.  This ambitious project has met with a lot of support and encouragement in Kulmbach and the whole region, for which we are very grateful.  There is a clear sense of optimism and we are all looking forward to implementing these plans step by step, together with many people from the region."

The world of the life sciences was introduced to the guests of the opening event by Professor em. Dr. Hannelore Daniel.  Until 2018, she held the chair of Nutrition Physiology at the Weihenstephan Science Center for Nutrition, Land Use and Environment at the Technical University of Munich. In her keynote speech, she spoke about "Food, Nutrition, Health - Quo Vadis" and thus stressed the importance of the topics to be researched in Kulmbach for science and society.

Finally, University President Leible appealed to the politicians among the guests, including the Minister, to exert all their influence:  "If the activities of the University of Bayreuth in Kulmbach are to be successful in the long term, then we need your long-term support.  We need every voice in Munich to continue to inspire the budgetary policy-makers with our project here.  Keep up the enthusiasm of this day!"

The way to the Kulmbach Campus  

  • June 2017: At the request of the city of Kulmbach, a draft for a cabinet meeting was prepared; the first sketch of a Life Science faculty with a focus on "Food, Nutrition and Health".
  • June 2017: Announcement of the plan at a cabinet meeting in Kulmbach
  • July 2017 to June 2018: Conceptual work by two top-notch planning groups, one from the University itself, and one external advisory board
  • July 2018: The Bavarian State Government approves the project costing 136 million euros over five years. 
  • End of 2018: Start of planning for new campus and teaching building
  • Mid 2019: First vacancy notices and appointment proceedings
  • End of 2019: Leasing and upgrading of further functional areas (offices, classrooms, laboratories)
  • October 2020: Start of WS 2020/21; start of an English-language Master's programme; first students at Faculty VII for Life Sciences:  Food, Nutrition and Health on the Kulmbach Campus, or still at interim sites 
  • Currently: Management of infrastructure (construction, traffic, fibre-optic network planning) to prepare the operation as well as the start of the study program development and appointment planning for the first professorships.

Link: https://www.f7.uni-bayreuth.de/de/index.html

Editorial office:

Anja-Maria Meister
Press Officer
University of Bayreuth
Universitätsstr. 30 / ZUV
95447 Bayreuth
Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5300


Ralph Reindler

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