The Federal Government is investing in the future
Even in times of budget consolidation, the Federal Government is continuing to invest consistently in the future. The 2013 Federal Budget shows that education and research are priorities in the Federal Government's policies. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research's 2013 budget has increased by 6.2 per cent compared to last year - placing it at a total of 13.7 billion euros.
At the start of the legislative period, the Federal Government adopted the goal of allocating an addition 12 billion euros to education and research. The finalized budget has actually provided an additional 13.3 billion euros for the period between 2010 and 2013.
A special focus of BMBF funding measures is on the area of students and higher education. With the Teaching Quality Pact, a further 200 million euros will be invested in improving study conditions and the quality of higher education in 2013. In the coming year, around 1.85 billion euros will be made available to German Länder for the creation of additional study opportunities as part of the Higher Education Pact.
Further emphases in the area of education include supporting disadvantaged children and young people and strengthening vocational education. The 2013 budget allocates 214 million euros for these tasks - a 16 per cent increase over last year. For strengthening Lifelong Learning, the increase is even clearer: with around 169 million euros in 2013, funding has increased by more than a quarter (26.5 per cent). This also includes cultural education funding as part of the local education alliances, for which the 2013 budget is allocating an initial 30 million euros.
With the Excellence Initiative and programme allowances, a total of around 680 million euros can go towards strengthening research at institutes of higher education in 2013. The Federal Government is also a reliable partner in the area of institutional research funding: as part of the Pact for Research and Innovation, institutionally allocated funds will increase by 5 per cent annually. With the 2013 budget, the Academic Freedom Act will also be implemented. This will strengthen the autonomy, responsibility and international visibility of science and humanities in Germany. Increased funding will also go to research projects dealing with central social and global challenges like climate change, demographic developments, the spread of common diseases, securing global food supply, and the finitude of fossil fuels and energy sources: Projects within the High-Tech Strategy will now receive around 2.3 billion euros - an increase of 24 per cent compared to 2009, and around 90 per cent compared to 2005.
The 2012 Budget
The 2012 federal budget makes clear that investing in the future of education and research continues to be a top priority. The budget of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has increased by eleven per cent compared to 2011, placing it at a record high of €12.9 billion.
Within the parliamentary process to establish the 2012 budget, the Federal Government further strengthened the political focus of its work - education and research. "Thanks to this strategy, Germany has emerged from the global economic and financial crisis stronger than before. Investing in new ideas is the only way to wake and develop existing potential. Particularly in a country like Germany with few natural resources, this is a vital investment in the future", said Federal Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan.
Especially with the three large initiatives "Higher Education Pact", "Excellence Initiative", and the "Pact for Research and Innovation", the sciences in Germany will be prepared to meet the challenges of the coming years. In addition, the parliamentary procedures further strengthened central measures in education as well as increased funding to BAföG.