Anyone who has once witnessed the “Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften” (Long Night of Sciences) in Dresden knows: Dresden is a city of sciences. On this night it is possible for everyone to visualize and experience how unbelievably diverse the research topics are with which Dresden scientists are engaged. The “Long Night of Sciences” gives the audience an insight into the extreme diversity of Dresden’s academic and scientific community:
The Saxon state capital boasts ten universities. Over 40,000 students from 114 nations are able to choose from about 200 different study courses. With around 33,000 students, the Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden) is the largest university in Saxony and offers qualifications in more than 100 study courses. The TU Dresden, with its excellence cluster and a graduate school, has furthermore demonstrated its excellence in the course of the “Bundesexzellenzinitiative” (federal excellence initiative). The Dresden University of Applied Sciences is the second largest university in the city with over 5,000 students. It offers students 33 study courses with qualifications in the areas of engineering, design, economics and environmental studies. Someone looking for an especially practice-oriented qualification is in good hands at the University of Cooperative Education, which has one of its seven locations in Dresden.
However, Dresden is not only a city of natural scientists and engineers. Unique artistic study courses are offered by the Dresden University of Visual Arts (HfBK Dresden), the Hochschule für Musik “Carl Maria von Weber” Dresden (University of Music) and the famous Palucca-Schule Dresden – a university of dance.
The Palucca-Schule is the only independent university of dance in Germany. Founded by Gret Palucca in 1925, classical and contemporary dance as well as improvisation is taught here. The University of Visual Arts belongs to the oldest of its kind in the German-language regions. It dates back to the “Zeichen- und Malerschule” (Drawing and Painters School), which was first founded in 1680. Famous painters such as Caspar David Friedrich and Otto Dix tought here. The University of Music is in keeping with the rich musical tradition of Dresden.
A further five universities operate independently: the Dresden International University, the Evangelische Hochschule für Soziale Arbeit Dresden (evangelic university for social work), the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik (university of church music), the Fachhochschule für Religionspädagogik und Gemeindediakonie Moritzburg (technical university of religious education and parish services) and the Fachhochschule der Sächsischen Verwaltung Meißen (technical university for Saxon administrative affairs).
In addition to a wide selection of study courses, the attractive study environment in Dresden is of particular importance for prospective students. 32 student dormitories, which accommodate 6,700 students, comparatively cheap renting and a wide range of cultural and recreational offers are strong arguments for studying in the Saxon state capital.
Besides a diverse academic landscape, Dresden also scores points with a strong research community: With eleven institutions, Dresden has risen to be the second-largest location of the Fraunhofer Society in Germany today. Four institutions of the Leibniz Scientific community, three Max Planck institutes as well as numerous affiliated university institutions complete the university research. In national and international competition, these institutions have made a name for themselves as acknowledged research locations.
Where science is strong, economic success also follows. A particularly impressive example of this is biotechnology. A clear indication of the success of the Saxon Biotechnology-Offensive in the field of science is the procurement of the first special research area for stem cell research and the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) from the German Research Foundation. Growing success is developing around these scientific beacons, and in close proximity, a multitude of young innovative biotechnology enterprises.
To prevent the young scientific talent of tomorrow from running out, we are canvassing the students of tomorrow with our campaign “Pack dein Studium. Am besten in Sachsen.” (Do your degree. At best in Saxony) together with the Saxon universities: aimed at Saxon youth as well as those of other federal states. The objective is to motivate as many young people as possible for a degree course in order to counter the threatening shortage in qualified labour of the next few years. With the Higher Education Pact 2020, the federal government and the federal states have agreed to make significantly more student places available by 2010, so as to offer attractive prospects to the impending “mountain of students” in the West-German states.
The author was born in 1957 and is the Minister of State for Arts and Science for the Free State of Saxony. The postdoctoral mathematics and physics teacher became the chairperson of the Trade Union for Education and Science (GEW) in Saxony in 1993, and in 1997 she became the federal chairperson of the GEW. Since 1998 she has also been an executive board member of Education International and a member of the board of trustees of numerous universities.