Gudrun Grieser
Image source: Gudrun Grieser

50 Years 50 Faces

Gudrun Grieser

Retired Mayor.
Member of the National Regulatory Control Council (NKR)

Member of the FHWS University Council 2001-2019
Chair of the Council from 2015-2019

For me, FHWS is ...
The most important research and educational institution in Lower Franconia, alongside the University of Würzburg.

What do you appreciate about FHWS?

FHWS has held very good positions in the Bavarian university rankings for many years. This shows that we have a range of study programmes in the Würzburg/Schweinfurt region with a significant nationwide impact and appeal.

What was the best decision in your professional career and why? What has changed since then?

Despite being reluctant at first, I dared to run for mayor of Schweinfurt in 1992. This political office at the top of the city’s administration filled the second half of my professional life, and I became completely absorbed in this task. Without this break in the middle of my life, I would never have experienced the joy of taking responsibility and playing a significant role in shaping a city’s development. The experience I gained and the broadening of my horizons through this completely new task were tremendous.

What do you think has shaped FHWS the most over the last 50 years?

In my opinion, the (Bavarian) policy of significantly increasing application-oriented research and development has particularly favoured FHWS. The range of study programmes offered at the Schweinfurt location and the industry based here mutually benefit each other. The city of Würzburg and its surrounding area with its extremely diverse range of facilities are an ideal basis for the range of subjects offered at the Würzburg location. At both locations, FHWS has therefore become a source of growth and future opportunities from within the region.

What is your vision of the future for FHWS? What might FHWS look like in 50 years’ time?

The fields of digital transformation, internationalisation and collaboration with German stakeholders are already being worked on in an exemplary manner. 50 years is not a foreseeable time scale. But I could imagine that, for example, the areas of climate technologies, in Lower Franconia also the problem of water supply, energy, resource conservation through new materials and construction methods, and the management of migration conflicts could have a greater impact on the two higher education institution locations in the coming one or two decades.

What is your insider tip for the cities of Würzburg or Schweinfurt and why?

Anyone who studies or teaches at FHWS should embrace the difference between the cities of Würzburg and Schweinfurt and see it as enriching. The two cities complement each other very well! Going to the Mozart Festival can be unforgettable, but there are certainly people who prefer the Schweinfurt Nachsommer. Industry and art have entered into a very special relationship in Schweinfurt (see the Georg Schäfer Museum, Kunsthalle Schweinfurt). In the baroque city of Würzburg, with its centuries-old student culture, the attitude to life is unmistakably different, but equally unique.