Remodeling the university
Meeting in Bologna, the European Ministers of Education and Science agree in June to develop new consecutive Bachelor's and Master's degree programs. Prof. Dr. Volker Ronge (Chair of Politics) is elected Rector as of October 1.
As a quality control measure covering all NRW universities, UW is visited in January by a 'Council of Experts'. Trial runs start for UW's first Bachelor's and Master's degree programs on the Anglo-American model: Mathematics for Economics in the summer and Economics and IT in the winter semester. The new IT program attracts more than 200 first semester students.
UW's first Chancellor (Head of Administration), Dr. Klaus Peters, retires on September 30 after almost 30 years of service to the university. He is succeeded by Hans-Joachim von Buchka. Prof. Dr. Hans Weiler is appointed mediator in the wake of the 'Council of Experts' report. From September onward he works on the development of new structures and strategies for the university. Starting in the winter semester an MSc program in IT is offered.
On June 17 UW Rector Volker Ronge and Prof. Dr. Hans Weiler submit the report of the mediation process to NRW Minister of Science and Research Gabriele Behler. With a reduction in the number of faculties from fourteen to seven, the university aims to concentrate its potential and enhance its profile. New BSc/MSc programs in Printing and Media Technology, as well as in Electrical Engineering, start in the winter semester. Together with IT, these departments move into their new home in the refurbished and upgraded former military premises of Campus Freudenberg. On December 16 Rector Volker Ronge and NRW Secretary of State Hartmut Krebs sign a target agreement on the new university structure.
As from January 1 the term 'Gesamthochschule' ('comprehensive university') is dropped and the official German name of UW is finalized as Bergische Universität Wuppertal. Registration starts in April for Bachelor's and Master's programs in Safety Technology and Architecture. UW's first continuous education program – in Real Estate and Construction Project Management – begins with 16 students on April 22. On May 14 Dr. Ingrid Henkels steps down after almost 25 years as Chairperson of the Society of Friends and Benefactors of the University. Rector Volker Ronge is confirmed by UW Senate for a further four-year term of office on June 4. With the beginning of the winter semester the reorganization of the 14 former faculties into the 7 new faculties A-G comes into force – the most radical restructuring since the foundation of the university.
The first BSc graduates receive their degrees at a special ceremony of the Faculty of Electrical, Information and Media Engineering. Tuition fees are introduced at the beginning of the summer semester for those students who have taken longer than one-and-a-half times the standard period of study. This results in a drop in student numbers from 13,910 to 12,031 in comparison with the previous year. The new administration building is ready for occupation by the Rector's Office, some administrative departments and the Central Student Advisory and Counseling Service. Installation work begins on UW's new supercomputer ALICEnext – currently the most powerful computer at any German university . The Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Informatics and Scientific Computing is established on July 23. The Combined BA program starts at the beginning of the winter semester. The Interdisciplinary Center for Technical Process Management and the Institute of Polymer Technology start work in December.
The new NRW University Act gives universities far greater autonomy in setting up and closing degree programs and appointing professors etc. From April 1 UW becomes a no smoking university. A wave of new students in the English and German departments, as well as in the Faculty of Economics, leads to the imposition of a local entry bar for the following winter semester. The Center for Educational Research and Teacher Education is established by UW Senate, meeting on June 1. On July 13 the Senate sets up the Interdisciplinary Center for Science and Technology Studies. On September 1 the Computing Center and the Audio-Visual Media Center are merged into the University Information and Media Center. Rector Volker Ronge is Chairman of the NRW University Rectors' Conference. A new printing lab is opened on December 1, offering state-of-the-art digital and offset technologies for both teaching and research. From December 15 student registration procedures can be completed online.
The death is announced on January 26 of Johannes Rau, Honorary UW Senator and former German President, known familiarly as the 'Father of the University of Wuppertal. Dr. Dieter Stäglich, longstanding Director of the University Library, retires with due ceremony in February. From June 14 new degree programs leading to teaching qualifications in biology and IT become available; at the same time the Senate decides to introduce a general tuition fee. In June the Sports Department moves into the refurbished Grifflenberg Campus building on the Fuhlrottstr. They are followed in August by the Faculty of Art and DesignResearch. Day on September 2 presents UW research projects for the first time in Wuppertal city center, a communicative concept that attracts notice nationwide. The death occurs on November 27 of the Honorary UW Citizen Stella Baum. Nationwide, Bachelor's and Master's teaching degree programs are accredited on September 6 for training high school and vocational-technical college teachers. Accreditation follows on December 8 for the MEd program for primary (grade) schools, as well as lower secondary, vocational secondary, high schools and comprehensive schools. New model (BA/MA) teaching degrees, starting next winter semester, are now available for all German school forms. The MEd will in future be the standard doorway to postgraduate teacher training.