Higher Education Policy: Excellence

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Higher Education Policy: Excellence
Higher Education Policy: Excellence

Excellence universities only in Munich and Karlsruhe

The TU Munich, the LMU Munich and the TU Karlsruhe emerged as the winners of the excellence initiative among German universities. This means that the key scientific experts only certified three universities out of ten candidates with the status of excellence. The decision, to which the allocation of funding programs worth billions is tied, caused an uproar during the final deliberations. Political representatives officially protested the procedure even before the announcement.

Apparently, the fact that universities specializing in technical research and none in northern Germany have been awarded the unofficial title of "top university" caused discrepancies. Political decision-makers presumably did not want to accept this, but were apparently overruled by the majority of the scientific experts in the decision-making body.

Only the declared winners of the so-called "third pillar" of the Excellence Initiative can look forward to additional funding of 13.5 million euros annually, initially limited to five years. In addition to scientific excellence and outstanding graduate education, a convincing concept for the future was also required, which ultimately caused seven of the ten finalists to fail in the eyes of the experts. The candidates Aachen and Heidelberg were not sorted out because of the lack of quality in teaching and research, but because the future concept was unsatisfactory to the experts.

Higher education institutions that did well in some of these categories should also be rewarded with smaller funding pots. Here, too, the decisions of the scientific committee members apparently did not sufficiently meet the politically desired proportional representation. Individual decision-makers from politics allegedly put the duration and approval of the initially promised funds up for discussion. Officially announced that politicians would like to have more say in the decision-making process in the future.

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