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State of Lower Saxony paves the way for model law programme at Leuphana

2022-07-06 Lüneburg/Hanover/Hamburg. For the first time in Germany, the newly established School of Public Affairs at Leuphana University Lüneburg is offering law students the opportunity to obtain both a Master's degree in law and the state law examination. The state of Lower Saxony is making this model law degree programme possible with financial support from the VW Vorab (Lower Saxony Advance) of the Volkswagen Foundation, initially amounting to 2.5 million euros. Lower Saxony's Minister for Science and Culture Björn Thümler handed over the corresponding funding notification today, Wednesday.

"With the model degree programme, Leuphana University Lüneburg is taking an innovative path for the subject of law, which we are happy to support," said Thümler. "The study model goes hand in hand with the proven strong research in law at Leuphana, which is characterised by a special international and interdisciplinary orientation. I welcome the fact that the Joachim Herz Foundation is adding a great facet to the model degree programme by funding the Doctoral College in Law."

"The newly developed model course of study is an interesting and promising addition to the traditional range of courses in legal education. It will show us whether there are meaningful extensions to the tried and tested legal education. It goes without saying that the conditions under which candidates are admitted to the first state examination in Lüneburg correspond to those of the existing courses of study," says Lower Saxony's Minister of Justice Barbara Havliza.

The Joachim Herz Foundation supports the project and will provide Leuphana with 750,000 euros over the next two years for the Joachim Herz Doctoral College in Law. A continuation of the funding is intended. This was announced today by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst, Chairwoman of the Foundation, during Leuphana's Dies Academicus.

Starting in spring 2023, the Joachim Herz Doctoral Programme in Law will accept nine scholarship-funded doctoral students who will research the connection between law and social transformation processes over a period of four years. They will address concrete challenges and problems from politics, administration and civil society and create a direct link between academic theory and social practice by entering into discourse with social stakeholders. This will create an offer for doctoral studies in law and related disciplines that is unique in Germany to date.

"With the Joachim Herz Doctoral College in Law at Leuphana University Lüneburg, we want to strengthen science in Lower Saxony and contribute with a visible building block of our own to this jurisprudential model that is unique in Germany," says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst, Chairwoman of the Board of the Joachim Herz Foundation. University President Sascha Spoun is very grateful for the funding: "The new doctoral college shapes and strengthens the profile area of law and societal transformation of our new faculty and at the same time has a model character for a future-oriented qualification of doctoral students."

The Joachim Herz Doctoral Programme will be integrated into the structures of the Leuphana Graduate School, which, following the Anglo-American model, unites the Master's and doctoral programmes of all faculties. Master's and doctoral studies can be easily interlinked in Lüneburg. Already during the Master's programme, students have the opportunity to enter the doctoral programme at the Graduate School via the Doctoral Track. The doctoral programme is characterised by the teaching of subject-specific and interdisciplinary contexts.

About the Joachim Herz Foundation

The non-profit Joachim Herz Foundation promotes education, science and research. It works predominantly operationally and is primarily active in the subject areas of natural sciences, economics and personal development. Small, innovative projects by third parties are also supported in these three areas. In addition, the foundation supports research projects in the fields of medicine, law and engineering as well as projects in German-American exchange. The Joachim Herz Foundation was established in 2008 and is one of the large German foundations.