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Fewer first-year students for plastics processing

According to a survey by GKV/TecPart, the number of first-year students has fallen by 45 percent.

As part of the survey carried out by GKV/TecPart at the beginning of December last year, 33 universities and universities of applied sciences in the German-speaking countries with courses of study in plastics technology and plastics processing were contacted. They were asked about the number of first semesters of the last three years. According to the survey, the decline in the number of students when comparing the average of the years 2017 and 2018 to 2019 was 45 percent fewer first semesters in absolute terms. This would mainly affect universities that offer an independent course of study in plastics engineering or processing. The situation is somewhat better for courses of study in which plastics technology is offered as a specialisation, such as within a mechanical engineering course of study.

Prof. Thomas Seul from the University of Applied Sciences in Schmalkalden complains that plastics-related courses of study are often underrepresented in the overall comparison of the university landscape. Here, regional competition among the universities should take a back seat in favour of cooperative collaboration in order to meet the needs of industry. Even outside the academic sector, the search for trainees in plastics and rubber technology is becoming increasingly difficult. This is a challenge for the association and the plastics technology industry, as confirmed by Michael Weigelt, Managing Director of the GKV/TecPart association. However, he called for a higher degree of organization in the industry, since up to now only one third of the companies registered in Germany have been involved in the work of promoting the image of plastics through the GKV carrier associations. A special budget approved by the plastics associations is to be used to finance a campaign to highlight the important role of climate-friendly plastic products in reducing CO2 emissions. Weigelt pointed out that this campaign could be supported by all companies in the value-added chain by becoming a member of one of the GKV carrier associations.


  • (10.2.2020)
  • Photo: © Fotolia