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Education minister calls for speedy reform as students protest

DDP/DPA/The Local · 12 Nov 2009, 10:37

Published: 12 Nov 2009 10:37 GMT+01:00

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“The students need a clear signal that the corrections that have been decided are being incorporated into the academic system,” Schavan told broadcaster Südwestrundfunk, adding that new degree courses needed “streamlined.”

Schavan also said that age limits and increases to student financial aid commonly called BaföG should be discussed.

“But elite aid also belongs to educational policy,” she added, saying that national grant programmes need improvement.

Schavan’s comments followed the most recent student protest on Wednesday night at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where students occupied a lecture hall to demand changes to educational policy.

“No one can force an academic reform against the will of the students,” a statement from the Munich students said. “Therefore we call for rights of co-determination for all decision-making processes that affect studies at the university.”

Similar protests are ongoing at some 20 other German universities. They began last week as a show of solidarity for their Austrian counterparts, who have also staged protests in recent weeks.

Story continues below…

Their complaints include overloaded degree courses, social inequality within the educational system, chronic funding shortages and problems in restructuring bachelors and masters degree programmes.

The Bologna reforms, which introduced bachelor and masters programmes to Europe, are meant to be completed in Germany by 2010, but many students say they force a focus on professional training to the detriment of scholarly learning.

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Your comments about this article

16:33 November 12, 2009 by mprulez
Germany's education system is already focused professional aims. There is no flexibility in the educational system. There are specific degrees for specific jobs in future and students are expected to plan that out 15 years before!

There are no common degrees at all! The madness with specificity is the reason why thousand of skilled people are jobless!..
17:14 November 12, 2009 by maxbrando
1. Students have no rights when they pay nothing for the privilege of attending a University. They get a free ride at taxpayer expense, so they need to sit down and shut up. When they start paying their fair share (Mum and Dad will pay, of course), then they might have a right.

2. All students, who pay nothing , should be forced out of school after a limited period of time (say, 6 years) and should be required to take a minimum of class hours each week, semester or year. After all, they are blocking up a free seat in a University until they move their lazy butts out of it. If they fail to do this, they should be expelled.
09:38 November 13, 2009 by dete30
you are right maxbrando,tax payers are giving them privilege of attending a university .So they must be thankful of that.

Yes mprulez, 10 years old children here already screened who are qualified for university .That is Germany, accept it or leave it!
10:14 November 13, 2009 by berliner12

ha!ha! what mum and dad are paying? 500 euro/semester? you think that's the real cost of the university? I well tell you that's only a very small percentage from the whole cost of university payment without the tax payers expense (mum and dad is bankrupt!).The worst is,here in Berlin there are foreign students coming to university where the german taxpayers paying for them because they cannot afford from their own country.
12:36 November 13, 2009 by arbeitsmunich

"The worst is,here in Berlin there are foreign students coming to university where the german taxpayers paying for them because they cannot afford from their own country."

00:04 November 14, 2009 by unicuri
Students have no rights when they pay nothing for the privilege of attending a University. They get a free ride at taxpayer expense, so they need to sit down and shut up.

What's wrong if the german students pay nothing or pay small for the University?Anyway the parents of this students are tax payers.What we don't like when foreign students come and make a ride of the privileges of Uni here from the German tax payer expense.

Yes in the Uni where I work there are foreign students,who come from a country where uni education is far expensive than here in Germany, but I hope they realise that our education here is almost free,it's because there's a big money put on it from the tax payers and to make it clear we don't work hard and pay this taxes so that this people from other countries who cannot afford uni there will come and make a free ride.
22:47 May 19, 2011 by Elina Smith
Seems Germany is tightning things on students. Now they should also think to consider other countries to study. This link provides some info to study in Finland and Norway


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