Universities are financed by the state on the one hand, and receive public (e.g. SNF research funds) and private third-party funding on the other.
In recent years, universities (including the University of Bern) have been receiving more and more money from private companies. Such support is often associated with conflicts of interest and could lead to research being foregone whose results might be disagreeable to the sponsors. The independence of research is thus no longer guaranteed. The compulsion to attract private third-party funding also puts pressure on the university to concentrate on "profitable" study programmes.
There has been an even greater increase in so-called "public third-party funding", in which the federal government or the EU allocate funds on a project-by-project basis. This trend is also associated with certain problems: Such funds tend to benefit certain research only, lead to financial insecurity, and can have a negative impact on the working conditions of the mid-level faculty members ("Mittelbau").
While the SUB does not reject third-party funding and private financing in general, it does demand strict rules - namely, there must be no conflicts of interest whatsoever. And for us, it is clear that education must remain a public task and all subjects and disciplines must be adequately supported. We, therefore, advocate that the University of Bern should continue to be run mainly by state funds.