December 19, 2021

If we demonstrate solidarity, we can meet the challenges ahead

by Prof. Dr-Ing. Michael Weber, President of Ulm University

Universities are subject to constant change. In 2021, this change has once again been fueled by the coronavirus pandemic that continues to influence academic and teaching activities. At Ulm University, lecturers and students made the best of it by introducing new ways of imparting knowledge and by getting vaccinated. With a phenomenal vaccination rate of over 90 percent among students, we are now able to offer many on-site courses during the winter semester. I am very glad that more life has come back to our campus. Personal interactions, discussions and normal student life have all returned to the realm of possibility.

Despite these challenges, 2021 has been a very successful year for Ulm University – starting with a new record for third-party fundingright at the beginning. Furthermore, high-profile collaborative projects underscore our research capabilities. The most recent example is the new Collaborative Research Centre on Ageing. One particular highlight when it comes to teaching is our new training hospital “ToTrain U”. In this building, medical students practise treatment methods and how to interact with patients. Indeed, the pandemic has demonstrated the importance of high-quality medical training.

What has 2021 taught us? Apart from new teaching concepts and a further push towards digitalisation, it taught us one thing above all: If we demonstrate solidarity, we can come together again and return safely to our lecture halls, laboratories and offices. Let’s make universities a place to meet, share knowledge and innovate once again in 2022. As re-elected President of Ulm University, I look forward to the changes and challenges ahead.

But first, Ulm University would like to wish all YERUN partners a merry Christmas and a healthy and successful New Year.

Watch the full speech by Professor Weber and Student Representative Rudi Pietsch on YouTube:

Photo cover: President Prof. Michael Weber and student representatives Rudi Pietsch and Lena Fotanive (left to right). Picture by Ulm University.

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