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Small universities low priority for Excellence Initiative, rectors say

The next round of Germany’s Excellence Initiative to support leading research universities needs to pay more attention to the needs of small institutions, university leaders have said.

The HRK, Germany’s association of rectors, has criticised the government’s plan to focus on academic clusters when distributing funding under the initiative’s next round. The third instalment of the initiative will require universities to participate in at least two research clusters to be eligible for funding.

This requirement could exclude small universities with few specialised research departments, the HRK said in a statement on 11 May. One solution to this problem would be to widen the definition of research cluster or include other types of research collaboration, it said.

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