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The Ruhr University of Bochum

The Ruhr University of Bochum
Source: Ulrike Filgers

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Universities to the Ruhr!

For the people of Dortmund, the root of all evil is - for once - not local soccer rivals bulletSchalke 04 but the Ruhr University. On 18 July 1961 the decision is taken to build the new complex not in Dortmund but in nearby Bochum.

The Ruhr University is needed to promote bulletstructural change in North Rhine-Westphalia. NRW is still suffering from a shortage of university facilities.

Long ago, under Prussian occupation, the territory of what is now NRW was treated by Berlin purely as an industrial province. Kaiser Wilhelm II, it is said, ordered that neither barracks nor colleges be built here.

Even by the 1960s, NRW still hasn't reached national standards of university provision. Germany's educational black-spots are in the area around Bochum, Essen and Duisburg.

For state premier bulletFranz Meyers, the Ruhr University is a prestige object for which the government in Düsseldorf has earmarked DM 2.3 billion - more than the Land's total expenditure over 15 years on schools, police stations and courts.

In the end, the state government cannot realise all its ambitions for the "Ruhr-Uni", but the project marks the beginning of a series of bulletfoundations of new higher educational institutions right across NRW.

Dirk Bitzer

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