Now it’s the turn of the HEIs
The CHE is taking a position on the framework conditions and use of study fees in North Rhine-Westphalia as part of an expert hearing on study fees and study fee management in the Düsseldorf parliament.
The CHE has summarised its evaluation of the introduction of study fees implemented more than one year ago in North Rhine-Westphalia at the request of the Committee for Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of the regional parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia.
From the CHE point of view, numerous regulations in North Rhine-Westphalia are exemplary for other German Länder, mainly the fact that the decision about the introduction and structuring of the fees is not ruled by governments of the Länder but by the individual HEIs that know best how the fees should be used. The CHE therefore recommends that no detailed “catalogue” needs to be drawn up in terms of how fees should be used; a general allocation is sufficient. ”The Land desires higher education institutions to ride in the fast lane so they should keep them at the steering wheel,” says Ulrich Müller, who is representing the CHE position at the hearing.
Even if detailed control by the Land should remain out of the question, from the CHE point of view, the Land is nevertheless responsible for the social framework. “Social controlling” should be implemented so as to recognise and counteract possible selective effects in HEI admissions. The HEI´s share of the responsibility is to secure open admission via counselling, communication and individual releases. Social measures by the government (such as the generous debt ceiling), however, should by financed by the government and not by the students themselves, as is presently the case.
Now it´s the turn of the HEIs – implementation on site is critical for the success of study fees. HEIs in North Rhine-Westphalia have implemented clear improvements – based on the new income – und thus seized upon the urgent need for action. Now the focus is on the transition from problem orientation to strategy orientation. Targets, decisions and success must be transparent and convincing. It is recommended and reasonable to integrate students beyond governmental requirements into the shaping of models and into decision-making relating to usage and controlling.