HRK President ahead of possible start of coalition negotiations: strengthening the higher education system will help to solve major issues of the future

14. October 2021

Today in Berlin, shortly before the possible start of coalition negotiations in the federal government, the President of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), Prof Dr Peter André Alt, reiterated the demands that universities place on the future federal government and pointed out the special importance of the higher education system for research and society:

"Universities are the organisational centres of the research system. They combine internationally visible research in the areas of fundamentals and application with the education and training of future professionals. More than half of a cohort is studying now and will do so in the foreseeable future. However, young people not only acquire the academic and professional skills required for research and the labour market. Universities also play host to social discourse and factual debate about values and different perspectives.

Without a strong higher education system, we will not be able to meet current and future challenges in Germany and Europe, especially the climate crisis. We therefore expect future coalition leaders in the federal government to make higher education policy a key area of action in cooperation with the states, which are responsible for universities. The measures necessary for this – I would like to highlight the digitalisation allowance and the creation of appropriate legal and financial framework conditions in research and research funding as examples – were recently clearly formulated once again in the HRK Senate. They must now be put in place as soon as possible."

On 5 October, the HRK Senate outlined the most important measures required for universities.

The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany also pointed out the importance of the research system for Germany's capacity for innovation before the Bundestag elections.