Future of wood science at Hamburg?

There is a petition on change.org to save the (well respected) BSc and MSc programs of Wood Science and Technology at the University of Hamburg.  The closing down of forestry and timber related courses has been ongoing for years because they attract relatively small numbers of students.  Universities are, of course, fully entitled to consider the economics to them of offering courses…but perhaps the forest industries are not active enough in explaining how these small courses provide vital skills and knowledge.  Impact and reputation are valued by universities too.

Here is the English translation of the petition text:

University of Hamburg – Save the Center of Wood Science and Technology!
Wood is fascinating – it has been used for thousands of years throughout the world as a raw material and is still an unrivaled genius as a renewable material. Wood has everything modern bio-materials need:
– sustainably available
– renewable
– climate neutral and a carbon-storage
– clean disposal as a source of energy
To equip the timber industry for the tasks ahead and the road to the bio-economy, there is no question that it needs experts. At the University of Hamburg there are the BSc./MSc. programs of Wood Science and Technology, where such experts have been trained for over 75 years. This is the only University course of its kind in Germany. Graduates come out as “Holzwirte”, successful decision makers throughout the world, who are involved in research, development, production, trade and politics.
All this will now come to an end, because the University wants to save money. It seems comparatively easy to wipe out a small program like ours, but they’ve underestimated us! Show your solidarity with our motto “we won’t be cut off” (#wirlassenunsnichtabsägen) – help us so wood has a renewable future in Hamburg!

We are convinced that the wooden path is the right path, and shutting down the program and its institution is a future in the wrong direction. More than 60 jobs, over 250 current students and the entire future of the industry are threatened!

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