Thuringian universities: Think tanks, driving forces and partners of the regional economy

The Chairman of the TLPK and President of the Technische Universität Ilmenau Kai
The Chairman of the TLPK and President of the Technische Universität Ilmenau Kai-Uwe-Sattler and the Deputy Chairman and President of the EAH Jena Steffen Teichert in conversation with Juan M.V. Garcia, Vice President for Practice and Research at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar.
On March 13, 2024, the Parliamentary Evening of the Thuringian State Presidents’ Conference (TLPK) took place in the Thuringian State Parliament under the motto "Our universities are worth their weight in gold". Thuringia’s ten state universities presented a broad spectrum of their activities to highlight their immense importance for the state of Thuringia and its population. Their activities are not limited to academic education, but also influence the economy, cultural and social life and the future viability of the Free State.

A recent study by Heidelberg University on behalf of the TLPK confirms the outstanding contribution of these educational institutions to Thuringia’s economic development based on data from 2022. According to the study "The regional economic importance of state universities in the Free State of Thuringia", three factors are decisive.

One key aspect is the university-related expenditure itself. In that year, the state universities invested 967 million euros in wages and salaries as well as in materials and services. The almost 46,000 students spent a further 673 million euros. Due to their higher qualifications, graduates from the ten universities earned a higher income than their peers without a university degree. The study speaks of almost 700 million euros on the labor market. Another important factor is the spin-offs from the universities, which generated additional expenditure of 139 million euros in 2022.

Overall, this resulted in a total effect of a good 2 billion euros and almost 30,000 jobs in Bavaria. According to the study, every euro that flowed into the basic funding of the 10 state universities in Thuringia in 2022 generated added value of 3.64 euros. In his speech, the Chairman of the TLPK, Kai-Uwe Sattler, emphasized the central role of the universities for the development of Thuringia: "Our universities are not only research and educational institutions, but also drivers of innovation and drivers for the entire region. The results of the impact study impressively illustrate their diverse and positive effects on the regional economy and the labor market."

The parliamentary evening offered participants the opportunity to enter into a constructive dialog about the future of Thuringia’s higher education landscape and to jointly find ways to further strengthen and promote it.

You can find the complete study at :­min/Grafik­en/Koopera­tionen/Die­_regionalo­ekonomisch­e_Bedeutun­g_der_staa­tlichen_Ho­chschulen_­im_Freista­at_Thuerin­gen_Februa­r_2024.pdf