Germany is set to begin accepting international postgraduate students next year, but only if the government agrees to extend a $300,000 federal grant that gives postgraduate fellowships to up to 15,000 students in a single school.
The German government said it would give the money to universities and postgraduate programs from July 1, 2018.
It was initially proposed in the 2015-16 budget but was scaled back, with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government now insisting that it only apply to the first 15,001 postgraduate degrees in 2018.
The grant, called the Postgraduate Research Fellowship, is aimed at recruiting up to 3,500 postgraduate researchers, which Germany currently has an annual capacity of about 2,200.
Germany has already granted more than 2,000 fellowship slots to foreign researchers in the past four years, and many of them come from abroad.
The federal government plans to provide another $400 million in 2018-2019 to cover the cost of recruiting and retaining these postgraduate scientists.
But Germany has so far not provided the funding to universities to extend the postgraduate fellowship.
The grant is part of a wider funding package for universities and research centers aimed at creating more jobs in postgraduate science and technology, the government said in a statement.