26. November 2014
In response to the press release issued today by the Federal Statistical Office concerning the current number of students at German universities, the President of the German Rectors' Conference, Professor Dr. Horst Hippler, has just commented in Berlin:
"For the seventh year in a row, German higher education institutions are enabling a record number of young people to embark on higher education. The total of 2.7 million students is a remarkable all-time high and a 3% increase on last year. The number of newly enrolled students is only just under the 2013 figure at 500 000, so remains at a very high level.
This is particularly notable given last year's large double intake in North Rhine-Westphalia because it shows that the high number of young people entering higher education is due to greater participation in education overall.
With the introduction of the Higher Education Pact, the universities have shouldered a growing responsibility: while the Higher Education Pact II for 2011 to 2015 was initially planned for just 250 000 additional new students, the figure is now far in excess of 700 000.
The federal and state governments must recognize the hard work being done by the universities and respond with appropriate funding for the higher education sector. The constitutional change due to be implemented this year will open up new possibilities in this area. As student numbers remain consistently high, there must be a long-term increase in funding to allow the universities to recruit more teaching staff and provide adequate facilities."