14. Juni 2010 | Von Dennis Boldt | Letzte Änderung: 14. Juni 2010 um 20:45 Uhr
Terminating medical education in Lübeck would be a grave mistake. However, this is the current plan of the Government of Schleswig-Holstein (one of the 16 federal states in Germany). We fight for continuing excellent medical education at the University of Lübeck.
The Medical Faculty of the University of Lübeck has been ranked number one for its teaching excellence in Germany three years in succession. It is also ranked second in Germany and sixth in Europe for its achievements in medical technology. This has been made possible by the specific profile of the University of Lübeck in medicine and biotechnology. The Medical Faculty is at the heart of the different, intimately connected programs of the University, such as Molecular Life Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Robotics. The University is closely collaborating with ~50 biotechnology companies with their headquarters in Lübeck including Dräger, a leading international company in the field of medical and safety technology or Euroimmun specializing in reagents for medical and laboratory diagnostics. There is an overall shortage of medical doctors in Germany and a current guide line by the Federal Government to increase the budget for science and education, along with more specific plans to enlarge the capacity and/or increase the number of Medical Schools in Germany.
Entirely unexpectedly, the president of the University of Lübeck was informed by the press on May 26, 2010 that the budget committee of the Government of Schleswig-Holstein (one of the 16 federal states in Germany) has decided to close down Lübeck Medical School as of next year. Notably, there are only two medical schools in the entire State, in Lübeck and in Kiel, the state capital. The sole information given by the Minister of State and his Minister of Science and Economy was that this decision was motivated exclusively by financial reasons with the aim to save a total of 150 million Euro until 2010. Schleswig-Holstein is severely affected by the banking crisis due to economical and political mismanagement in conjunction with its state bank.
Prior to making this decision public, no attempt had been made at any time to consult with the president of the University of Lübeck regarding the closure plans, no calculations have been provided regarding the putative savings potential, as of today, no risk analysis has been officially provided. Given the tight focus of the teaching and research direction of the University, discontinuing medical education in Lübeck equals the shutdown of the entire University, where the smaller programs are unable to exist without their strong association with the Medical School. We are aware that cuts even in higher education are necessary in the present time. However, considering the MD program of the University of Lübeck has been ranked first place nationally, and that closure of this program equals termination of the entire university, together with many striving research centers and research-associated local businesses, these plans are irresponsible. The consequences do not only affect the region but also the entire, structurally and economically weak State of Schleswig-Holstein. Furthermore, the decision sends a detrimental message in the effort toward offering top-ranking education. The decision of the government therefore has grave implications for education, science, patient care, as well as economy in more general terms. Students and Faculties of the University of Lübeck are fighting against this shortsighted and unsubstantiated political decision.