Committee on Science and the Arts
18 members of Parliament in total belong to the Committee on Science and the Arts: ten CSU members, four SPD members and two members each from the FREIE WÄHLER (FW) and Alliance 90/The Greens (GRU).
In 1994 the Bavarian State Parliament set up an independent committee for higher education, research and culture for the first time, which dealt with all issues related to higher education institutions including university hospitals, with academic and non-academic research as well as the protection of historical buildings and monuments, music, museums and the visual arts, scientific collections and theatre. In addition, the committee dealt with questions of principle regarding cultural policy and media and film. As an example, the committee‘s work during the last electoral term continued the higher education reform, introduced in 1998, with the following key focuses in 2009, 2010 and 2012: Extending the autonomy of universities, continuing the development of university access, coping with increasing numbers of students by expanding the available number of places to study throughout Bavaria, expanding in-service courses, modular courses, cooperation on doctoral studies programmes, introducing research professors, employee participation at university hospitals, further developing students‘ rights of participation and the option of specifically being called a „Technische Hochschule“ instead of a „Fachhochschule“.
The „Innovationsbündnis Hochschule 2018“ alliance to guarantee the performance of Bavarian universities was signed in 2013.
With the bill for the „Take the basic right to education seriously - abolish tuition fees“ referendum, tuition fees were abolished for a course through to the first professional qualification, for a course in a consecutive study programme that leads to a further professional qualification as well as for a doctoral studies programme from the 2013/2014 winter semester. At the same time, it managed to fully compensate for the shortfall in fees using subsidies through the 2013/2014 Budget Amendment Law – Education Funding Act. Just the same as tuition fees, the subsidies serve to improve academic teaching conditions.
Furthermore, in the 16th electoral term, the „Future concept for The Munich School of Political Science (HfP)“ subcommittee was appointed. The future concept was drafted in close cooperation with The Munich School of Political Science, the HfP students, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the Technische Universität München and external academic experts.
Since the 17th electoral term, the committee with almost the same range of responsibilities has been called the Committee on Science and the Arts; it is only non-academic research, private media and the media industry that the Committee on Economic and Media Affairs, Infrastructure, Building and Transport, Energy and Technology is now responsible for; academic research and public service broadcasting remain the responsibility of the Committee on Science and the Arts. One focus during the current electoral term will be to refurbish and modernise state buildings used for the sciences and arts. The committee also hears experts to prepare for decisions. Finally, the committee also deals with many petitions and complaints concerning its specialist area.
The Committee on Science and the Arts Meetings
The meetings always take place on Wednesdays during sitting weeks. They are convened and chaired by the chairman. Besides the committee members and head of the committee office, state government representatives responsible for the specific agenda items also attend. With important political issues, responsible members of the government are also present. The Bavarian State Parliament‘s shorthand writers’ service documents the meetings.