After the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone for the new University campus on Inselplatz in September 2020, another milestone in the largest university construction project in the Free State of Thuringia has been reached. Numerous guests attended today’s (25 April 2022) topping-out ceremony. The Inselplatz Campus consists of several new University buildings and will accommodate the Institute of Psychology, the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, the Branch Library of Natural Sciences and Pre-clinical Medicine of the Thuringian State and University Library, a cafeteria, and the new University Computer Centre. In addition, the City of Jena is constructing a multistorey car park there.
The new campus requires a total investment of around 190 million euros. Around 81 million euros are provided by the EU under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), co-financed at national level from state funds, federal funds (‘unbundling’ funds and Higher Education Pact 2020) and proceeds from the sale of state-owned properties that were no longer needed. The University Computer Centre and the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Sciences are to be completed by the end of 2023. Once the remaining buildings due by 2024/25 are completed, the entire major project of building a new campus on Inselplatz will be concluded.
‘The University of Jena is about to join the top 20 of German universities,’ says University President Prof. Dr Walter Rosenthal. ‘This contemporary educational campus will soon reflect our excellence in research and teaching. It will further open the University to the city: That is why it was of central importance to us to ensure a high quality of stay for science and the city's population. The Inselplatz Campus creates space for exchange and will be a lively place where a great variety of people come together to research, learn and discuss.’
‘The Inselplatz Campus organically blends into our growing city centre—and does so with a high-quality urban design. As a result, Friedrich Schiller University will become even more attractive and more closely linked to urban life. Here, two things are being created at the same time: an excellent place to work and study for staff and students, and a lively city quarter for residents and guests of Jena,’ emphasizes the Mayor of the City of Jena, Dr Thomas Nitzsche.
Thuringia's Minister of Infrastructure Susanna Karawanskij says: ‘The Free State of Thuringia and the state government attach enormous importance to a modern science landscape. These are far more than empty phrases; we are proving this with deeds and really high investments. The new campus on Inselplatz will not only strengthen our Thuringian science landscape, but also enrich Jena in terms of urban development.’
Thuringia's Minister of Science Wolfgang Tiefensee expects the currently largest university construction project in the Free State to further increase the appeal and performance capacity of Jena as a science location overall: ‘The new campus is a major prerequisite for the University of Jena to further develop its position as one of the top universities nationwide. From 2025—after all construction work has been completed—approximately 18,000 students and more than 8,000 University employees will find excellent conditions for research, teaching and interdisciplinary exchange here. This is another strong argument when competing for the best minds in research and science.’
Hans-Karl Rippel, President of the State Office for Construction and Transport says: ‘The new building of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science has now, at the time of the topping-out ceremony, taken a concrete shape. We can see that its urban design fits into its surroundings in an interplay between open and closed areas. I would like to thank all those involved in the construction for this, and at the same time I am convinced that the campus on Inselplatz will be completed meeting the previous high architectural standards.’