This content is only partially available in English.
This content is only partially available in English.

Open discourse at universities

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Copyright: HRK

Resolution of the 38th HRK General Assembly on May 14, 2024

At its meeting in Fulda, the 38th General Assembly of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) discussed in detail the recent protests on the Middle East conflict at universities and the public reactions from the political arena and the media.

HRK President Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal commented: “Dealing with anti-Semitism and the latest protests in the context of the Middle East conflict at universities was a key issue at today’s HRK General Assembly in Fulda. Universities consider themselves places of open discussion and dialogue. They take responsibility for providing a comprehensive academic space for discussion wherever possible. By setting appropriate standards and procedural rules, they guarantee the exchange of views, even on socially controversial topics and opinions. Universities are in a position to differentiate between academic discussions and those that no longer fall within the framework of the law and the constitution, and to react to these in an appropriate manner. Universities do not offer a forum or platform for anti-constitutional or criminal acts, for violence of any kind, for discrimination, racism, or anti-Semitism. On the contrary, they take active steps to prevent this so that all university members can feel safe on campus.

The university administrations exercise their discretionary powers responsibly within the scope of university autonomy. They expect trust and support from federal and state politicians. In recent weeks, academics and university leaders have been defamed and vilified by individual media outlets. This is unacceptable to us.”


Safeguarding universities as a place for open discourse

Click here to read the text of the resolution (in German)

Mainz University of Applied Sciences is a member of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), a voluntary association of state and state-recognized universities in Germany.