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Call to fix rising student numbers

Germany’s federal and state governments must stop treating the rapid growth in student numbers as a temporary phenomenon, the national rectors’ association has said.

On 25 November, the HRK called for long-term, sustainable basic funding to match the “long-term change in student behaviour”. The Hochschulpakt, a programme that allows the federal government to top up universities’ basic funding, should no longer be treated as a temporary measure, the group said. The programme is due to end in 2020, and no plans have been announced for an extension or replacement.

This short-term approach has caused problems, the rectors said. A growing proportion of the costs of teaching are coming from temporary programme funding instead of basic financing, meaning that more teaching tasks are being performed by temporary staff. “This is an untenable situation for employees as well as universities,” the rectors said.

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