With the Higher Education Pact 2020, the Federal and Länder Governments are providing additional funding to widen the range of study options – in response to an increasing demand for study programmes.
Germany’s higher education institutions have made considerable achievements over the last ten years. They have provided opportunities to study for a strongly increased number of people taking an interest in higher education. Whereas the first-year student share was still at 37 percent in 2005, around half of Germany’s young people are now taking up studying. The growing demand for specialists on the labour market and the high propensity to study indicate that there will also be large numbers of first-year students in future, with levels only slowly decreasing as the effects of demographic developments set in.
In the consultations at the Joint Science Conference of the Federal and Länder Governments on the 30.10.2014, the Federal and Länder Governments approved the third and concluding phase of the Higher Education Pact. The ultimate decision was taken by the Federal Chancellor and the Heads of the Länder on the 11.12.2014.
On the basis of the forecast on first-year students in 2014 by the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder (KMK), the Federal and Länder governments are to jointly fund up to 760,033 additional study places over the next few years. Alone the Federal Government will be providing 9.9 billion euro for this purpose up to 2023. The Länder are going to make comparable financial contributions and ensure overall funding. Over the entire term of the measure from 2007 to 2023, the Federal Government will be providing a total of 20.2 billion euro, and the Länder 18.3 billion euro.
In the third phase of the Higher Education Pact, the Länder are going to use ten percent of the Federal and Länder funding from 2016 on to enable more students to successfully complete their studies on a quality-assured basis. In addition, the Länder have pledged to provide more vocationally qualified individuals access to higher education. In future, both aspects are also going to be among the issues addressed by the annual Länder Reports.