Currently, universities in Baden-Württemberg receive 33 percent less per student (i.e. 3,540 euros, adjusted for inflation) than at the turn of the millennium. The lack of funds is palpable in numerous areas, including teaching, research and infrastructure. Universities are also struggling to tackle new tasks that have been delegated to them by the Land in the last few years. In light of the ongoing negotiations of the new higher education funding agreement as of 2021, the Senate of the University of Mannheim has now appealed to the Land of Baden-Württemberg to reduce the structural deficit that universities have been facing for many years.
In order for the universities to fulfill their core mission of research and teaching, a new funding agreement needs to remedy the structural deficit of the first agreement and compensate for the financial disadvantages of the past few years that emerged due to the lack of inflationary adjustment, additional tasks and rising costs for rent and facility management, the statement reads.
“I am glad that the Senate voted unanimously on the statement. This shows that the university stands united and supports the demands. The statement emphasizes that our mission hasn't changed. We want to achieve the best possible results in both research and teaching, which we can only do if the Land provides us with adequate funds,” says Prof. Thomas Puhl, President of the University of Mannheim.
The central demands of the statement are:
- Project funds (Zweitmittel) from the Land need to be embedded in the university budget by the end of 2020. Only when project funds from expansion programs are made available permanently can the University of Mannheim take part in the annual three-percent raise of budgetary funds that was agreed upon in the first higher education funding agreement in 2015.
- Continuation of the annual three-percent raise of the university’s budget funding. This is to offset regular cost increases due to inflation and rising personnel costs.
- Increase of the university budget by 1,000 euros per student. This is to prevent the discrepancy between budget and needs from growing even larger.
- Transparent and undiminished transfer of funds from the Zukunftsvertrag to the universities according to the criteria defined by the federal government. This is to secure the funds for teaching and teaching infrastructure and to use them effectively.
“After decades of underfinancing and assignment of new tasks without adequate compensation, it is time to face the facts,” the Senate states. “The universities need to be provided with sufficient means to accomplish their mission of preparing the current and future generations of students for the ever changing challenges of our modern society.”
Read the complete statement of the Senate (in German)
Statement of the Landesrektorenkonferenz (in German): https://nosciencenofuture.de/unterfinanz.html
Statement of the Landes-ASten-Konferenz (in German): https://lastuve-bawue.de/lak/beschluesse/