The funding reserved for the development of doctoral education is higher than expected, at a total of EUR 262 million over the years 2024–2027. We hope that the funding will be allocated to finance the work of new doctoral researchers as well as those whose research is incomplete due to a lack of prior funding.
We are also thankful for the historically large RDI investments. We hope that the funding will be used towards long-term research and will guarantee researchers the possibility to focus on their actual research work rather than on continuous funding application processes. We expect the Government to enact the extension of first residence permits for researchers as already specified in the government proposal. The science and higher education field are in strong agreement on this matter, since we know that ambitious RDI goals cannot be realised without international talent.
The funding allocated for higher education admissions is also welcome news, since there seemed, at first, to be insufficient funding for this area. Even though we still won’t achieve a 50 per cent higher education rate with this funding, the direction is right.
At the same time, we remain concerned about the situation students find themselves in. Cutting student benefits will make their lives considerably more challenging within an already difficult situation. Financial worries and uncertainty will certainly not accelerate the pace of their studies, in fact quite the opposite. We hope that the Government will comprehensively consider the situation of students and help them to complete their education by supporting and enabling full-time studies.