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Foundation of the University of Wuppertal

1966

Johannes Rau, leader of the SPD group on Wuppertal City Council and Member of NRW State Parliament proposes a working group be set up to pave the way for the establishment of a new university in Wuppertal.

1969

Now Mayor of Wuppertal and leader of the SPD in NRW State Parliament, Johannes Rau recommends – in a letter of December 15 to NRW Prime Minister Heinz Kühn (SPD) – the foundation of a regional university in Wuppertal. The new School of Mechanical Engineering buildings on Wuppertal's Grifflenberg hill mark the site of the future UW main campus.

1970

A Federal Ministry of Education and Research report pinpoints Wuppertal as a possible location for a new NRW university. An innovative university model (regionally differentiated 'comprehensive' universities) was to open the door to higher education for hitherto neglected social groups.

1971

The SPD-FDP coalition forming the NRW State Government decides to set up 'comprehensive' universities in Duisburg, Essen, Paderborn, Siegen and Wuppertal. All NRW universities, institutes of education, and universities of applied science are to be integrated into this new model. In August the State Schools of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Wuppertal and Remscheid, together with the Schools of Textile and Civil Engineering, the School of Industrial Art, and the Higher Technical School for the Graphic Design Industry, are amalgamated into the Wuppertal University of Applied Science.

1972

August 1 is Foundation Day for the five 'comprehensive' universities. On Thursday August 3 NRW Minister of Science and Research Johannes Rau declares the new university open. 3473 students register for the first semester.