Joy at universities: the traffic light coalition makes many promises

A promise in the coalition agreement: education spending should increase significantly. By 2025 – that is, by the end of the legislative period – the funds for research and development are to increase to 3.5 percent of the gross domestic product; they are currently around 3.2 percent. That would mean additional spending of several billion euros annually.

Special round for universities

In the past decade, the universities have already received additional funds as part of the so-called Excellence Strategy. However, only a handful of universities were considered in the funding rounds. Now the coalition partners want to introduce a special round in which additional research networks are funded with additional money. This means that those universities that have so far received nothing in terms of the excellence strategy can give themselves hope.

More money for apprenticeships and student loans

More money should also flow into teaching and studies. The large non-university research institutions, the Max Planck Society or the Helmholtz Association, receive 3.5 percent more annually to offset rising costs. A similar regulation should also come for teaching at universities and technical colleges. In addition – as for schools – there should be a digital pact specially for universities.

This makes the student representatives happy, who also praise the fact that the coalition agreement promises that the student loan will be reformed. There should then be more money for supporting students, both higher limits and a steady increase in monthly student loans.

It is unclear how this will be financed

The coalition agreement does not say where the additional financial resources will come from. That will then be the government work for the next few years to provide the funds.

Young scientists who complain about too many temporary positions can also look forward to it. Because the science contract law is to be reformed. The contract states that permanent positions must be created for permanent tasks at the universities – i.e. certain courses, for example. In addition, young researchers should get contracts for the duration of their project – for example their doctorate – and not have to stay afloat with short contracts.

The Minister-designate knows the scientific community

The designated head of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is to be the FDP politician Bettina Stark-Watzinger. In terms of education and science policy, it has hardly appeared so far. However, in contrast to her predecessor and acting minister Anja Karliczek (CDU), she knows the science system professionally.

The economist Bettina Stark-Watzinger was commercial director for an institute of the Leibnitz Research Association. So you should know the internal scientific debates. The 53-year-old brings political experience as the parliamentary manager of the FDP in the Bundestag.

More federal influence in schools?

Schools in Germany are a matter for the federal states; in recent years the federal government has only been able to exert some influence through financial programs such as the all-day school program or the digital pact.

The FDP is, however, the party that has been the most vocal in calling for less federalism and more nationwide standards in school education. It should therefore be exciting to see whether the new minister will try to strengthen the influence and participation of the federal government in schools.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.