Today, the Federal Statistical Office reported the number of students and new students at German universities as being 2.9 million and 508,000 respectively for the current winter semester. The President of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), Prof Dr Peter-André Alt, stated his views on this today in Berlin:
"The persistently high student numbers continue to pose a challenge to universities. Once again, more than half a million young people have commenced higher education programmes. Universities have an obligation to offer suitable conditions for studying to each and every one of them, especially decent support through adequate numbers of teaching personnel.
The indefinite Future Contract Studium und Lehre stärken ("Strengthening studying and teaching"), concluded by the Federal and State Governments in June, has set the course for this. Two factors are key to its success: Universities require the necessary scope to use resources locally in line with their needs. The additional federal funding must be continuously and appropriately counterfinanced by the State Governments. The Federal and State Governments must consider both of these factors in their other specific agreements if the Future Contract is to bring the desired results."
The Higher Education Pact, which aims to tackle the surge in student numbers, will expire in 2020 and be continued through the Future Contract. With it, the Federal and State Governments are building lasting foundations for funding the surge in student numbers. A consultation process regarding the undertakings of the federal states provided in the contract to implement the Future Contract is now under way between the Federal and State Governments.