German Universities Fear a Brain Drain | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 04.05.2004
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German Universities Fear a Brain Drain

The heads of German universities have demanded more funds to stem the flow of science students moving abroad. "As long as one downgrades universities, you can't expect that the best will stay here," Peter Gaehtgens, president of the Universities Association (HRK) said in Berlin on Monday during the annual HRK conference. Gaehtgens stressed that around 40,000 academics trained in Europe were currently working in the U.S. and contributing to the unchallenged American dominance in science. He appealed to the German government to raise funds for universities as well as give them more autonomy. German Chancellor Schröder said that the creation of better conditions for teaching and research at universities was a "national responsibility." Schröder added he planned to cut subsidies for home-owners, which would free up at least €5 billion ($6 billion) yearly for education. He added that the German government had raised its budget for education and research by more than a third since 1998.