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Scholarship culture ‘starting to change’ in Germany

About three-quarters of Germany’s universities have signed up to the Germany Scholarship programme, which coordinates private funding to sponsor gifted students.

The German research ministry announced on 21 September that €8.6 million had been secured for 4,793 students since the summer. This means that around 0.35 per cent of all students are receiving support through the programme.

The ministry said that this was close to the programme’s goal of achieving a coverage rate of 0.45 per cent in its first year.

“I thank the private funders who are contributing significantly to this project, and are thus securing the availability of professionals in our country,” said Annette Schavan, the research minister.

The Germany Scholarship programme was launched earlier this year to develop what the government calls a “scholarship culture”. It is unusual in Germany for private people to donate to education, and universities previously made little attempt to raise private funding.

The scholarship programme draws together funding from private sources to provide a Germany-wide service.

“The higher education institutions have started a change in culture,” said Schavan. “Now we have to continue on our path towards creating a scholarship culture in Germany.”