500 million euros granted to Germany's new "Excellence Universities"

500 million euros granted to Germany's new "Excellence Universities"

11 universities and university associations in Germany have now officially been awarded the coveted title of “Excellence University” and will receive millions of euros in funding over the coming years. 

Extra funding for top universities in Germany

After a long selection process, the judging panel on Germany’s “Excellence Strategy” for higher education announced that eleven universities and university associations had been selected as top “Excellence Universities”. They can now look forward to receiving significant state subsidies in the future. Recipients of the “Excellence” accolade claim a share of a cash pot totalling more than 500 million euros per year. 

The following universities/associations were selected from the 19 final-round applicants: 

  • University of Hamburg
  • TU Dresden
  • LMU Munich
  • TU Munich
  • University of Konstanz
  • University of Tübingen
  • University of Heidelberg
  • Karlsruhe Institute for Technology
  • University of Bonn
  • RWTH Aachen
  • University Association Berlin (Free University, Humboldt University, Technical University)

Their status as “Excellence Universities” will commence on November 1 this year and run for at least seven years. During this time, the chosen institutions will receive subsidies of 10 to 28 million euros per year, three-quarters of which comes from the federal government, and a quarter from the state where the universities are located. 

What is Germany’s “Excellence Strategy”?

The Excellence Strategy began back in 2005 as the “Excellence Initiative”, a competition that funded cutting-edge research in a bid to improve German universities’ international standing. The second round of funding was awarded in 2012. Since 2019, the funding has continued under the name “Excellence Strategy”, with federal and state governments making a total of 533 million euros available each year. 

While any extra funding for higher education is generally welcomed on all sides, the Excellence Strategy is not without its critics: an open letter signed by students from Freiburg, Heidelberg and Tübingen argued that the competition effectively creates a two-tiered system. “While some universities are happy about the additional funding and the title, many will be left empty-handed,” they wrote.



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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