On 14 June 2007 the Federal and State Governments reached an administrative arrangement for the Higher Education Pact 2020. In the first phase which ran until 2010 the universities could enrol a total of 91,370 more first-year students than in 2005.
Compared to the base year of 2005 this means about 11,200 additional university places for first-year students were created on basic degree programmes in Lower Saxony in 2007 - 2010.
On 4 June 2009 the heads of the Federal and State Governments signed an agreement to continue the Higher Education Pact. Designed to run until 2020, the Pact will continue under the draft agreement for a second phase until the end of 2015.
Compared to the base year of 2005 this means that about 35,550 additional university places for first-year students are being created in Lower Saxony in 2011 - 2015. So the plan is to expand the number of university places in Lower Saxony in 2011 by roughly 6,000 on top of those for 2010 and by roughly 5,300 in 2012.
To finance these additional university places for first-year students the universities of Lower Saxony are being provided with funds under the Higher Education Pact of the Federal and State Governments. Implementation of the Higher Education Pact at the universities of Lower Saxony will be worked out as part of an annual agreement on targets for university places between the Federal Government and the universities concerned.