HEUREKA - Four billion euros to modernize universities in Hessen

The bar has been set high for HEUREKA, an investment program designed to renovate and expand centers of higher education in Hessen. “The most modern university campuses in Germany will be built right here in Hessen” said former Governor Roland Koch at the start of the program in March 2007.

By the year 2025, the state government of Hessen will have investedfour billion Euros in major improvement projects in the publicly-funded colleges and universities in the state. “HEUREKA” is an acronym for the official German name of the program which roughly translates to “University Development, Expansion, and Renovation Program.”

Higher education institutions in the state will receive an additional 540 million Euros for construction projects and energy-saving measures through the state-sponsored special investment program “Schools and Universities” and through phase two of the federal economic stimulus program, which will also be co-financed by Hessen. This is on top of the funding from the HEUREKA program and will help speed up the HEUREKA renovation projects.

HEUREKA has enabled the creation of a master plan encompassing all locations that will create infrastructure on each campus that meets the demands of modern research and education. By taking this important step, the state government will help advance innovation at Hessen’s universities. Improving the infrastructure will increase the attractiveness of universities in Hessen in the global competition for students, scientists, and funding for research and in the Germany-wide “Excellence Initiative” (a federal funding program). The program also seeks to improve the transfer of knowledge from universities to business and society.

Guaranteed Funding until 2025

The HEUREKA program provides a total offour billion Euros that is guaranteed through 2025. Approximately 200 million Euros will be invested annually in construction and modernization projects, new buildings, and land acquisition as well as in transportation and public services. Since HEUREKA started in March 2007, the effects of this investment program have been felt at all of the university locations: Numerous competitions have already been held and still more are slated to take place to determine the best urban planning and architectural solutions for each location.

The main criteria for the competitions include:

  • An unified architectural appearance for the university,
  • flexible use of buildings,
  • meeting or exceeding energy savings regulations,
  • inclusion of concepts to minimize CO2 emissions, and
  • accessibility.

The state government has set itself the task of creating an infrastructure to include buildings and technology that will continually change in response to reforms in the structure of the education system, the internationalization of universities, and the necessary strengthening of research capacities. The campus model serves as the basis for many of the changes and will be implemented as much as possible at each location.

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