Politicians in Germany have broken a stalemate and come to an agreement on how to spend some €9 billion on education and research over the next four years, ScienceInsider reports.
Lawmakers had been deadlocked regarding allowing the German federal government to directly fund universities, something that is prohibited by the constitution, and how money given to the states will be used.
According to ScienceInsider, Chancellor Angela Merckel, herself a physicist, and coalition party leaders announced that the federal government will pay for the financial aid program for university students — saving the states €1.2 billion each year that the state governments will then put toward schools and universities. The states have also agreed to change the constitution to allow the federal government to fund universities directly, though ScienceInsider notes that the phrasing of that change is still being hashed out.
"It's a coup for both the universities and research institutes," says Jürgen Mlynek, president of the Helmholtz Association, in a statement.