Sigmar Gabriel: Leuphana - a story of success

“Curiosity beyond disciplinary boundaries, challenge of methods, search for knowledge, and capacity for lifelong learning” – these were the key features of the Lüneburg model program of study emphasized by Gabriel.

In his speech, the Social Democratic Party politician drew a parallel between scholarship and democracy: Being a member of an academic republic required attitudes similar to those he expected from citizens. It would not be sufficient to pursue only one’s own interests, neither at university nor in democracy. Addressing the students, Gabriel said: “You won’t get far acting merely as a spectator – neither in democracy nor in scholarship.” He encouraged the young students to take the risk of shaping things and presenting them to the critical public.

Gabriel was very impressed with the tasks assigned to the first semester students by the University right at the beginning of their studies. Within the scope of a 1-week simulation project, students, supported by experts in the field, are expected to develop a fundamental reform of the German healthcare system, which, according to Gabriel, “is the densest and deepest jungle of interest policies in Germany.” This would be a fascinating experience for all parties involved. “Your University really shows great trust in you”, Gabriel said to the students and, with a view to their project work, added: “You cannot simply give all parties involved – that is physicians, the pharmaceutical industry, health insurances, and patients – their wallet and ask them to take the money they think the need. ” Such selfishness would not serve the general interest. Gabriel expects much of the idea of having students develop their proposals for a reform in an objective and neutral manner. He declared that he would inform himself about the project results.