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State to pay millions: University of Cologne receives compensation for losing “Excellence” title

State to pay millions : University of Cologne receives compensation for losing “Excellence” title

While the University of Bonn was awarded the title "University of Excellence", it was taken away from the University of Cologne. In return, the Cologne university will receive millions in payments from the state.

As compensation for losing the title "University of Excellence", the University of Cologne is to receive compensation payments from the state amounting to millions. Until the next competition for the “Excellence” title rolls around, the university will receive an additional 3.6 million euros per year beginning in 2020, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Science confirmed on Wednesday. This is intended to ensure that the previously funded professorships and projects can continue to exist. It had previously been reported by the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger", a Cologne newspaper. In 2012, the University of Cologne was named a "University of Excellence" and surprisingly lost the title in the decision this year.

With their "Excellence Strategy", the Federal Government and the states want to promote cutting-edge research in particular and provide 148 million euros per year for this purpose. The aim is to make some of the most outstanding universities more visible internationally. In the middle of the month, the respective commission honored a total of ten universities and a higher education association - from NRW, Bonn is now taking part as well as Aachen.

The Universities of Münster and Bochum had also competed to be considered "elite universities" and narrowly missed their goal. However, unlike Cologne, they have never had the coveted title, and according to the state, they are not entitled to any extra funding. Nevertheless, the projects they were striving for would still be implemented, according to reports from Münster - "only somewhat more slowly than in the case of a commitment".

Original text: dpa

Translation: ck