The Federal Government is investing in the future
The Federal Government is continuing to make targeted investments in our future even in times of budgetary consolidation. The Government draft for the 2014 federal budget also reflects this. It provides for an increase in the 2014 budget for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) of about 224 million euros, up to a total of some 14 billion euros.
The 2014 Budget
At the beginning of the election cycle, the Federal Government had set a goal to make an additional 12 billion euros available for education and research. A total of 13.3 billion euros in additional funds were in fact allocated from 2010 to 2013. The Government draft budget for 2014 continues in this vein.
One major focus of BMBF's funding is universities and students. The Federal Government is making nearly 1.8 billion euros available in 2014 for the first pillar of the Higher Education Pact 2020. This funding from the Federal Government will help the Länder
to create additional study places to accommodate the great increase in the number of first-year students. The Quality Pact for Teaching will invest another 200 million euros in the improvement of studying conditions and the quality of teaching in 2014. The opportunities to finance studies will be further improved by an increase in funds to 1.9 billion euros for the Federal Training Assistance Act, for the support for the gifted and talented and for Germany Scholarship.
Other priority areas in education are the support of disadvantaged children and young people and the strengthening of vocational education and training. The Government draft budget for 2014 makes provisions to further increase funding for the promotion of lifelong learning by some 8 per cent compared to 2013; that is, up to 182 million euros. This includes support for cultural education in the framework of local education alliances, which have been allocated about 50 million euros for 2014. That is approximately 67% more than in 2013.
The Federal Government is also proving to be a reliable partner in the area of institutional research funding. The budgeted funds under the Pact for Research and Innovation for the large non-university research institutions and the German Research Association are increased by 5 per cent every year. This is set to continue in 2014. In addition, a total of about 730 million euros will be available in 2014 - 7.3% more than in 2013 - through the Excellence Initiative and by means of overhead funding for the purpose of strengthening research at institutions of higher education.
The Government draft also increases funding for research projects that focus on major social and global challenges such as the transformation of the energy system. The draft budget for 2014 appropriates project funding under the High-Tech Strategy of about 2.1 billion euros. This represents an increase of nearly 17 per cent over 2009, and even 80 per cent compared to 2005.