08/11/05

Ingraining Economics at Schools

Künzelsau/Stuttgart, November 8, 2005

Würth Foundation establishing Center of Competence for Economic Education – entrepreneur Reinhold Würth aiming to use an education initiative to improve knowledge of business interrelations at schools – joint effort of private foundation and the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of Baden-Württemberg – Premier Günther Oettinger to serve as patron of Würth Award

Stuttgart. On October 1, 2005 entrepreneur Prof. Dr. h. c. Reinhold Würth used the umbrella of the Würth Foundation at Künzelsau to establish a “Center of Competence for Economic Education Baden-Württemberg“ supported by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of Baden-Württemberg. The education initiative of the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the global Würth Group aims to improve business education at schools in Baden-Württemberg and to enhance the knowledge of students and their teachers of interrelations in business.

The “Competence Center for Economic Education” was presented to the public in the presence of Helmut Rau, the Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, and Reinhold Würth, the initiator, at a press conference held at Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart on Tuesday, November 8, 2005.
The center, based at Künzelsau/Hohenlohekreis, will work together closely with the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, Youth and Sports of Baden-Württemberg and the Advisory Board „Economic Knowledge of Young People”. Currently, this close cooperation between a private foundation and a Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs is the only one of its kind in Germany.

Helmut Rau, the Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, thanked the Würth Foundation for taking the initiative to establish the Center of Competence. Teaching basic economic knowledge had already been given more emphasis in Baden-Württemberg through the reform of the education plan. „The young generation needs to know how business works“, said Rau. The cooperation between business and schools could help bring down thresholds and generate more interest.

The financial resources of the Center of Competence are provided by the Würth Foundation. School teacher and business graduate Dipl.-Kauffrau Hannelore Gloger was made Director of the Center of Competence.

„The main purpose of the Center of Competence will be to improve the knowledge of business processes and entrepreneurship in the school system, and to engrain it more firmly”, underlined entrepreneur Reinhold Würth.

As founder and Director of the Interfacultative Institute for Entrepreneurship at the TH Karlsruhe (1999 to 2003), Professor Würth established the Advisory Board „Economic Knowledge for Young People“ and commissioned studies on students and teachers, which prove that knowledge of business matters could be boosted.

This research of Professor Würth and the findings of the Advisory Board now made the Würth Foundation establish the new Center of Competence, which will receive specialized advice by the Advisory Board.

The founders consider it important to link and pool numerous activities at the line where school and business overlap, which different private industry institutions have already started and some of which are working quite well.

The Center of Competence plans to trigger and support projects, or to initiate and implement them itself, and to begin a dialogue with all those involved in public schooling: school administrators, education institutions, principals, teachers, students and parents. Thus, the Center of Competence will participate in the further development of methods and didactic concepts and communicate successful models that help improve the education of teachers in business knowledge and aim at close cooperation with Teachers´ Colleges, Universities and education seminars.

The „Würth Award“ to be offered by the Center of Competence is to provide a special impulse. Premier Günther Oettinger already committed himself to serving as patron of this award. The Würth Award for Economic Education honours innovative school projects, which particularly promote the further development of the topic of economics and school.

Contact:
Kompetenzzentrum Ökonomische Bildung
c/o Stiftung Würth
Hannelore Gloger
Postfach, 74650 Künzelsau
Phone: 0 79 40 / 15-20 92
Fax: 0 79 40 / 15-47 32
e-Mail: kompetenzzentrum@stiftung-wuerth.de