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Further development and positioning of midwifery science strengthened by the Science Council

Hebammenwissenschaftlicher Fachbereichstag e.V. (HWFT) welcomes the current referral by the German Council of Science and Humanities (WR) on the position of healthcare professions in science

by Prof. Dr. Nina Knape, Member of the Executive Committee of the HWFT and Vice President for Studies, Education and Diversity at the HWG LU

The German Council of Science and Humanities (WR) has spoken out in favor of further development and the respective independence of the various disciplines in its statements on the perspectives of the healthcare professions. Among other things, the Council emphasizes the importance of discipline-specific department/faculty days, such as the HWFT. Furthermore, the further development also includes the promotion of young talent, such as the establishment of discipline-specific Master's programs or graduate programs at universities of applied sciences and universities.

The explicit recommendation to promote young talent is relevant for the HWFT in order to ensure that professorships in midwifery science are adequately filled. These appointments are currently still a bottleneck in the young discipline, which can only be remedied through targeted support measures. "Against this backdrop, it is very important to us at the HWFT that professorships in midwifery science are not filled by academics from outside the discipline. Instead, this bottleneck should be addressed through targeted doctoral funding and tandem or core professorships, for example. Non-specialist appointments inhibit the urgently needed disciplinary development for many years and thus reinforce and prolong the existing bottleneck in teaching, research and transfer," explains Prof. Nina Knape, member of the Executive Board of the HWFT and Vice President for Studies, Education and Diversity at Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society. 

The HWFT therefore agrees with the WR with regard to the need for sustainable research funding and tailor-made funding lines for midwifery science.

In its paper, the WR also acknowledges the efforts of the universities of applied sciences (HAW). This is where the majority of midwifery science degree programs have been established to date and where a considerable amount of discipline-specific research has already been carried out. The HWFT is committed to reducing the structural disadvantages of HAWs in terms of funding and teaching load in order to successfully develop research, education and transfer at both HAWs and universities.

In its publication, the German Council of Science and Humanities added primary qualification dual degree programs as a special form of dual programs to the typology of dual degree programs. "While we welcome the fact that the Science Council highlights the special type of midwifery degree programs and provides a new definition of primary-qualifying dual degree programs, we are also concerned that these special features are largely not taken into account in the funding process. The federally regulated framework conditions for these degree programs require special efforts on the part of the federal states in terms of adequate funding in order to ensure the high teaching requirements, practical support for students, the particularly high examination capacities for the state examination and the necessary personnel, space and material resources for skills and simulation centers. Without adequate resources, primary qualification degree programs cannot fulfill their legal mandate," says Knape.

According to the HWFT, the further development of midwifery science is essential in order to ensure high-quality healthcare and obstetric care by midwives for pregnant women, women giving birth and their families.

You can find the full HWFT statement here.

Professional contact:
Prof. Dr. Nina Knape
Member of the Executive Board Midwifery Science Faculty (HWFT)
Vice President for Studies, Education & Diversity and
Head of Midwifery Science at Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society (HWG LU)
Phone: 0621/5203-574
Email: Nina.knape@hwg-lu.de
Homepage: https://www.hwg-lu.de/studium/bachelor/hebammenwissenschaft-dual

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