German Universities Flooded with Applicants

Nieuws | de redactie
26 juli 2011 | German universities are set to receive 500.000 additional applications until 2015, a CHE report states. Merkel’s government responded to this with a record budget of almost €13 Billion for the Ministry of Education and Research. CHE advocates even greater increases.

The CHE report pointed out that the rapid growthin student applications has to do with both demographical andpolicy factors. Demographic wise, the cohort of young peoplebecoming eligible for tertiary education is bigger than ever. Pollshave showed that most of them prefer starting their studies rightaway instead of delaying their entry into universities, e.g.through social gap years.

In addition to that, policy changes contribute to the increasein applications. On the one hand, Germany suspended its policy ofdrafting male high school graduates formilitary or social service. On the other hand, in the future highschool pupils will receive their Abitur within 12 instead of 13years. During a transition phase, this will result in two years ofhigh school students graduating simultaneously.

Budget increase by almost 10%

Merkel’s cabinet acknowledged this issue by drafting a new lawthat increases the 2012 budget of the Ministry for Education andResearch (BMBF) by almost 10% to a record level of €12,8 Billion. Abig chunk of €1,1 Billion will go to the ‘Hochschulpakt 2020’ whichhas the goal to increase the share of high school graduates goingto universities. Meanwhile, quality of teaching should be improvedthrough the ‘Qualitätspakt Lehre’ offering an extra €175Million.

Phase 1 of the ‘Hochschulpakt’ had the target of accommodating91.000 additional students compared to 2005. CHE’s numbers showthat this estimate was only half of the actual 182.000 studentsflooding German universities. This is equivalent to 50% of all highschool graduates choosing tertiary education. At the same time,universities with more applicants were allocated more funds tocompensate capacity and teaching shortages, so that student/teacherratios remained the same.

CHE consequently praised Merkel’s ‘Hochschulpakt’, but statedthat given these new estimates even more funding should be madeavailable to universities. Already for the upcoming wintersemester, 50.000 additional students are expected to enter Germanuniversities. Predicting that this trend will last for the nextcouple of years, CHE recommend to remove the financial cap of the’Hochschulpakt’ to make sure that German universities receive themonetary support they need.

CHE Incoming Students

source: CHE

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