HRK on the successor to the Higher Education Pact: a joint effort for higher education

3. May 2019

The President of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), Professor Dr Peter-André Alt, commented today in Berlin on the agreement reached by the Joint Science Conference (GWK) about the research pacts as follows:

“I am very relieved that an agreement has been reached between the Federal and State Governments despite difficult negotiations. The Federal and State Governments are assuming joint responsibility. All those involved have looked beyond their own individual interests and thus made this result possible. Thanks are due to the Federal Minister for the fact that the Federal Government has made a new ongoing commitment to funding higher education teaching. This is a significant step for which we have been pushing since the amendment of Article 91b of the Basic Law more than four years ago.

This joint effort sends an important political message about the national significance of higher education and gives current and future students clearer prospects for the future. The joint funding will be put on a permanent footing, and will provide almost 3.8 billion euros annually.

The Higher Education Pacts have helped universities to create and maintain the necessary additional study places. But over the past 13 years, this has meant constantly plotting a hesitant course, a constant worry about the availability of funding that was always short-term. The ‘Future Contract’ on which the Federal and State Governments have now agreed will hopefully create the basis for considerably more planning certainty.

Steady funding increases right from the start have not been achieved. However, through the increase for the 2024 year that has now been established as binding, the Federal and State Governments have recognised in principle that cost increases, in particular due to inflation and increases in pay rates, must be taken into account. We therefore expect regular, adequate adjustments of the Future Contract that will keep pace with costs.”