by Juliane Neidhardt


On 13.05.1992, the Open House, also called University Info Day, took place at Technische Hochschule Ilmenau. The goal was clear: the university needed to significantly increase its student numbers. To this end, the event was one of the most important measures.


The event

On 13.5. the Technische Hochschule Ilmenau opened its doors at 09:30. With excitement, the students looked to see how many would find their way to campus. It was a measure of how successful the previous advertising measures had been and also gave an idea of how many new students the university would be able to attract. At the beginning, after the speech of the rector and the general modalities of study, the 7 courses of study that were offered at that time were presented:

  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Business Informatics
  • Industrial engineering
  • Teacher training at vocational schools

Afterwards, there were presentations in the faculties and information booths on campus. In the afternoon, students were able to attend lectures on a trial basis. Students also got involved and gave their potential future fellow students tips on starting their studies in the dining halls.

On the way to the faculty EI (source: UAI, negative 920513_2-26).


The university was very pleased with the number of visitors. While in 1991 only about 100 people showed up, an article in the Ilmenau University Gazette (source: ihb 8, 1992, p. 4) announced this time a proud 460 interested people. Most of them came from Thuringia. But still 50 participants came from the old federal states, namely Bavaria and Hessen. The proportion of women was also impressive: With around 110 female visitors, it was significantly higher than was usual at that time for subjects of a technical nature. A survey conducted by the Central Student Advisory Service on the organization of the event among prospective students also produced good results. Although the response rate was quite low with 74 completed surveys, it was clearly predominantly positive.

Panel discussion with DT64 (Source: UAI, negative 920513_5-13)

Panel discussion

A particularly interesting program item formed the conclusion. The youth radio station DT64, together with the student magazine GURU and Hochschulfunk, organized a panel discussion, which DT64 also broadcast live. The topic was: "Studying in East and West - an educational act between catastrophe and new beginning". Top-class guests were invited: Dr. Werner Brans, State Secretary in the Thuringian Ministry of Science and Art, and Dr. Michael Krapp, Head of the Thuringian State Chancellery came from the Thuringian state government. Dr. Hilde Schramm came from the Green Party in West Berlin, and Dr. Gerhard Köhler was a member of the main executive board of the Education and Science Union. From the university, Rector Köhler and a student, Rüdiger Straube, were present.

There was much discussion, centering on a question that an article from the Freies Wort on the subject sums up well:

"Können, ja dürfen die ostdeutschen Hochschulen einen eigenen Weg gehen, oder müssen sie erst auf den miesen Stand, wie er an Einrichtungen der Altbundesländer oftmals herrscht, herabgezogen werden?" (Source: Freies Wort, 15.05.1992)

The students were keen to maintain the good support ratio at Ilmenau Technical University, while the government representatives were primarily concerned with the financial aspects. Social aspects were also discussed, such as the preservation of the university's own nursery school, which was still on the back burner at that time. Dr. Schramm, in particular, urged them not to throw away what West German students had had to fight for for years. The relationship of future co-determination was also addressed. For while at Ilmenau University there was one-third parity between university teachers, students and staff, according to the draft of the Higher Education Act, a 50% share was to be prescribed for professors in the future. This, too, met with little approval in Ilmenau.

All in all, the University Info Day concluded with an open and exciting discussion that also went beyond Ilmenau.