HRK General Meeting issues serious warning: university places in danger of being lost

14. May 2014

"The current block on federal funding for the universities, the stalemate in the ban on cooperation and the failure to finance the current Higher Education Pact will all have drastic consequences. If the politicians continue to drag their feet with the necessary decisions, universities will not be able to maintain their current number of places," the President of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), Prof. Dr. Horst Hippler, said today in Berlin.

"Universities are not prepared to compromise the quality of their courses. We owe that to our students and yesterday's HRK General Meeting in Frankfurt made that very clear once again," Hippler continued.
"Particularly in light of the latest forecast by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK), which predicts that demand for university places will remain at the same level for the next ten years, I must issue a clear warning: if the Higher Education Pact III does not materialise, universities will only be able to offer two-thirds of the first-year places required. This will lead to more and stricter admission requirements and longer waiting times. And in the mid-term, we will lack important skills in the job market."

"The deadlock in university financing is not just irresponsible towards students and researchers, but also contradicts any sensible economic thinking. The universities earn 7.3% of GDP and in areas where there is a university, unemployment is lower by a third. Tax income from employing academics in Germany is much higher than the expenditure a federal state spends on a degree course."

The General Meeting of the German Rectors' Conference at its meeting on 13 May 2014 therefore made the following demands of the Federal Government, the Bundestag and the federal states:

• The promise made before the elections to the Bundestag to lift the ban on cooperation needs to be honoured immediately.
• The federal government must contribute to the basic financing of universities. As with the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation, the Federal Government and the federal states must increase funding to outpace costs.
• The current underfinanced Higher Education Pact II must be increased.
• The budget for the Higher Education Pact III must be increased significantly on the basis of the latest KMK figures.
• Furthermore, overheads for publicly financed third-party projects must be increased to 25%. In the long term, the full cost funding of research projects must be implemented.

Text of the resolution