German federal states
There are 16 Länder (states) in the Federal Republic of Germany. They are political units with their own state authority and state territory. This is why the term Bundesländer (federal states) is not correct, but is used in "Wissenschaft weltoffen" to differentiate the German term Länder=states of the Federal Republic of Germany from the term Länder= countries of the world. Fundamentally, the (federal) states are solely responsible for culture and education and, so, for the higher education system. The Bund (Federation) can only become active in this field by engaging in the joint tasks as defined by the German 'Basic Law' (Grundgesetz), such as higher education construction, educational planning and research promotion. Germany has a national Higher Education Act through which the federation can set guidelines to ensure that a minimum of degree state-wide, uniform educational standards are in place across the whole of the Federal Republic of Germany.