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Kassel University Society ends association activities
"We are proud that with the UGK we have been able to rally so many people from the city and the region behind the idea of the university over decades. In recent years, however, it has become apparent that ties to associations are diminishing, that lively association work is increasingly difficult, and that our association structure is no longer suitable for the necessary generational change. We have achieved our goals, been able to realize important lighthouse projects such as the International House on the Holländischer Platz campus and the boathouse on the Auedamm, and helped to firmly establish the university in urban society," says Chairman Dr. Andreas Fehr.
Fellow board member Ingo Buchholz adds: "At the latest with the 50th anniversary of the University of Kassel, it has become clear that the university is one of the important players in this city. I know that our members will continue to keep the prosperity of their university in mind and will always be welcome at the university. The UGK's commitment has paid off - the comprehensive university has become a large and efficient university that is recognized nationally and internationally and has gained additional opportunities to realize projects through third-party funding."
Prof. Dr. Ute Clement, President of the University of Kassel, expressly thanks the board and members of the UGK: "Without the support of the University Society, we would not have been able to realize many projects, not to mention the fact that without the committed citizens of Kassel, the university might not have been founded in 1971. The UGK had the welfare of our institution in mind to a very special degree - this benevolent support from personalities of the city society and companies as well as the financial contributions to many projects have greatly advanced the university. For this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Chancellor Dr. Oliver Fromm added: "I would like to thank above all the members of the UGK Board of Directors and those dedicated members who have supported the work of the association in their spare time. With them, we will continue the social dialogue within the framework of our transfer concept even without the external form of an association."
The financial resources available to the UGK, which will be spent by the university after the dissolution of the association, will be used to support university projects and students in need: "We very much wanted these funds to benefit students in particular. We are therefore pleased that the university is implementing our wishes. For example, substantial funds will flow into the social fund of the Kassel Student Union, and in the case of the Deutschlandstipendien, a federal grant will even double the money," said Dr. Fehr.
Over the next five years, 72,000 euros will flow into 30 individual Deutschlandstipendium scholarships to support students. This sum will be doubled by funds from the federal government. The largest sum, almost 100,000 euros, will be made available to students in need through the Studierendenwerk's social fund over a span of five years. The Corona crisis in particular had led to financial hardship for many students and the UGK had already given money to the social fund in recent years to alleviate this situation. 35,000 euros will go to the "University of Kassel Foundation Floor", which will thus be technically and functionally reorganized and reopened together with the outgoing UGK board. The International House (20,000 euros), choir, university orchestra, student theater and the "Soundcheck" series will also be supported with 10,000 euros each. UGK's technology division will continue to support projects in STEM subjects.
In the future, the staff of UniKasselTransfer and the Communications Department will ensure that former members of the UGK will continue to be welcome as guests, supporters and interested companions at the University of Kassel and will have special access to events.
The Friends of the University of Kassel grew out of an initiative of Kassel citizens who supported the establishment of a university in Kassel. In 1968, the Kassel University Working Group began intensively to make the political demand for an academic educational institution with a scientific and technical focus for Kassel. The working group contributed to the founding of the Gesamthochschule Kassel (now the University of Kassel) in 1971. In 1977, the Kasseler Hochschulbund (KHB) emerged from the "Arbeitskreis Gesamthochschule Kassel". In 2010, this became the Universitätsgesellschaft Kassel e.V. (UGK), which accompanied the University of Kassel in its development. Regarding the self-image of the UKG, it says: "The Universitätsgesellschaft Kassel e.V., as an active community, supports the goals of the University of Kassel and wants to make people aware of the important and creative role of the university in Northern Hesse and to communicate its strengths to the outside. Therefore, the University Society considers it its primary task to support the University of Kassel in realizing its objectives and concepts. With full respect for the independence of science and art, it also sees itself as a mediator between the university and its environment and promotes dialogue as well as cooperation between the disciplines represented at the university and interested individuals and institutions."