HRK President claims that Lower Saxony is acting against the Coalition Agreement

10. July 2014

"The State Government of Lower Saxony wishes to withhold funds from universities that federal government and federal state coalition representatives had promised them on 26 May. This situation cannot be allowed to continue," stressed the President of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), Prof. Dr. Horst Hippler, in response today to the press release from the Lower Saxony Science Minister.

"We need better funding for all areas of education. The coalition representatives, lead by the Chancellor, have rightly acknowledged this and have come to an appropriate agreement," he continued. "However, the agreement had only just been presented with enthusiasm in a press conference when it was consigned to the waste paper basket in Lower Saxony. This approach is completely dishonest. It destroys universities' trust in politicians. It confirms the suspicion that the federal states will use the funds in their own budgets as they see fit."

"We now expect the coalition to insist that their agreement is implemented in all the federal states."

The agreement, which was made public following a meeting in the Office of the Federal Chancellor, stated: "The federal states will use the funds released [by the federal government's full funding of the German Federal Law on Support in Education (BAföG)] to finance spending on education in universities and schools." Lower Saxony, however, wishes to fully withhold the €110 million released for the state from the universities.