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Demographic change and an aging population will exert dramatic influence on societal and economic development in Germany in the coming decades. The country’s demographic development is characterized by a continuous increase in life expectancy, a consistently low birth rate, and an increasing proportion of people with a migration background.

This trend toward an increasingly elderly population is becoming evident throughout society and also has direct consequences for the University of Freiburg and its environment. The age structure of the University of Freiburg already shows signs of the demographic change today, although the data for the entire university still corresponds largely to the classical population pyramid. The average age of employees at the entire university, for example, is currently at just under 38 years. A look at the administrative and technical staff reveals that these areas are experiencing a radical change that is clearly a reflection of current demographic developments. The staff in these areas is older on average and older employees are more common. A fourth of the university’s administrative employees are already 50 or older today. Moreover, these groups remain in the university system longer as a whole, and the mix of age cohorts among them is thus completely different than that in the area of teaching and research faculty.

Reacting to these developments will involve challenges across the university, from management and human resources planning and strategies for recruiting and building up loyalty among employees to services for family members requiring care. In particular, it will be necessary to make special efforts to secure the numerous advancements the university has made in the past years in the area of gender equality and work-life balance. The university must remain wary of a possible reversion to traditional gender roles to the detriment of female (academic) careers due to the growing need for caregivers in families and respond to such a development early on with suitable countermeasures.

Legal Foundations in the Area Age [PDF] (German)

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