HRK President speaks out on government funding of education: Ongoing adjustment still required to reflect demand and reality

19. December 2014

By passing the 25th law to amend the German Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG) today, the Bundesrat has agreed to improve funding for students.

The President of the German Rectors' Conference, Professor Dr. Horst Hippler, commented in Bonn:

"With the draft legislation of the Federal Government agreed today by the Bundesrat, the German Federal Training Assistance Act will better reflect the reality for students. The increase of the basic maintenance rates and the income allowances, the closing of funding gaps between Bachelor's and Master's degrees and the improvement in funding for studying abroad are all important steps.

However, this adjustment must happen more often than every six or seven years, as is currently the case. BAföG is an important tool with which to create more equality of opportunity. So that this can have its full impact, the maintenance rates and allowances must be continuously adjusted to reflect changes in prices and incomes. Almost one third of students today receive BAföG funding. It is an important source of financing along with parental contributions and students' own earnings.

Against this background we would also like to see BAföG applied to lifelong learning. Raising the age limit for Master's students in the most recent BAföG amendment was the first important step in this direction. This process of adjustment and inclusiveness must continue to ensure that BAföG funding reflects changes to earning patterns and study pathways."