Action against austerity measures at universities on 12.05.2021

On 12.05.2021 Uni Göttingen Unbefristet together with AStA and TVStud Göttingen supported an action of the Alliance against austerity measures at Wilhelmsplatz.

Short-term demands of the Alliance are:

  • Withdrawal of the previously announced austerity measures by the state of Lower Saxony
  • Exclude higher education institutions (also in the future) from the global budget cuts.
  • Permanent funds and permanent positions for permanent tasks
  • To use the funds from the Zukunftsvertrag for permanent positions for studies and teaching

In the long term, the aim must be to put higher education funding on a stable footing in order to ensure good and secure study, work and research conditions at Lower Saxony’s universities. Moreover, permanent positions must not have to be financed by third-party funds, but must be financed on a basic basis. The practice of increasingly financing basic tasks through third-party funding must be stopped politically.
Long-term, stable and sensible financing of the university must mean turning away from the neoliberal logic of marketisation. Education is not a commodity!
It should have become clear, not only through Corona, that education is the absolutely wrong area to save money.
Society needs universities and universities need good funding!

Although the state government is the actual addressee of the message, the speakers called on the university presidium to speak out against the fun measures of the state together with the students, staff and other vocal parties such as the elected student representatives of the state (Landes ASten Konferenz) and Verdi.

A letter from the alliance with these demands was symbolically deposited with the presidium.

The Göttinger Tageblatt reported:
“The question now should not be: Where can money be saved? Which professorship, which degree programme can be terminated? Instead, the question should be: ‘How can we avert the austerity measures and how can we achieve solid financing for the university’ […] “We call on the university president to take a stand on this. To fight the austerity measures, we have to put pressure on all levels.””

In addition, the presidium is free to implement some demands (e.g. regarding the Zukunftsvertrag and permanent positions for permanent tasks) in a self-determined way.
The Presidential Board has not yet reacted to the demands.

More impressions of the action can be found here.