Application of the reworded Art. 91 b of the Basic Law

Resolution of the 19th General Meeting of the HRK, 10 November 2015

The 19th General Meeting of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) calls upon the federal government to address the reworded Art. 91 b of the Basic Law and suggests the following permanent financing models:

1. Within the framework of a programme based on Art. 91 b of the Basic Law, the federal government and the federal states together undertake the annual 3% increase in basic funding for universities analogous to the financing for the non-university research institutions (where basic funding is €20 billion, in the initial stages a programme of this nature would have to amount to €600 million p.a.).

2. The federal government and the federal states consolidate the future overhead flat-rate funding for all the research projects funded under a third-party arrangement from public money. This is currently 22%. However, since overhead costs amount on average to at least 40%, a substantial percentage increase of the funding (to 30% or even 40%) is necessary. Increasing overhead funding by 8% or 18% would require funding expenditure of €200 or €400 million p.a.

3. The federal government again bears some of the cost of the construction of universities (including renovation) and of the technical infrastructure. When the compensatory payments for the joint task of higher education facility construction (which was abolished with the federalism reform) cease in 2019, there will be a deficit of just under €700 million per annum in this area and it appears doubtful that the federal states will be able to make up this shortfall. Besides the construction of higher education facilities, the development of data infrastructure in particular requires a great deal of money. In addition to the purchase of the hardware, high operational costs must be taken into account; some of these could also be absorbed by greater financial commitment from the federal government.

For all the models, it must be ensured that the federal states do not respond to the funding from the federal government by cutting the higher education budget by an equivalent amount and that there is no offsetting against existing funding programmes (such as the higher education pact or the joint federal government-federal state programme for the construction of research facilities).