• Germany's news in English

Court: speedy student must pay fees

The Local · 19 Jul 2012, 07:23

Published: 19 Jul 2012 07:23 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Dubbed a "turbo student" by the German media, Marcel Pohl argued that those who drop out of the Essen-based School of Economics and Management (FOM) without graduating did not have to pay, neither should he. All students sign the same contract, he said.

But the judge at the Arnsberg district court in North Rhine-Westphalia disagreed, and told 22-year-old Pohl on Wednesday that as he used the same facilities to complete his degree that a normal student would, he should have to pay for them.

Marcel Pohl completed 60 examinations in 20 months and gained a grade of 2.3 at the private university, all while carrying out an apprenticeship in a bank. He divided up simultaneous lectures with two friends and swapped notes, while sacrificing a social life and drinking gallons of green tea, he told Die Welt newspaper.

The university allegedly agreed to him finishing both of the degrees early, daily reported on Wednesday.

“It's disappointing,” Pohl told the paper after Wednesday's hearing. “We will wait for the written outcome and then maybe launch an appeal.”

Although initial reports suggested that the FOM was demanding around €3,000, Pohl told the Bild he was expecting to pay out “around €11,000” in remaining fees.

As a private university, it charges around €12,000 for a Bachelors degree, paid in monthly instalments and around €10,000 for a Masters. They are not, strictly speaking, semester fees, the court said.

"When I got the lawsuit, I thought it couldn't be true," Pohl, who now works for a bank in Frankfurt, told the Bild at the beginning of July. "Performance is supposed to be worth something."

Story continues below…

The Local/jcw/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

08:07 July 19, 2012 by MichaelZWilliamson
It's not fair to be better than average.
08:52 July 19, 2012 by BobbyBaxter
Just shows, in Germany it does not pay to be dynamic and hard working......
09:05 July 19, 2012 by MichaelZWilliamson
"As a private university, it charges around €12,000 for a Bachelors degree, paid in monthly instalments and around €10,000 for a Masters. They are not, strictly speaking, semester fees."

Perhaps this information should have been at the top of the article, rather than tacked onto the end? Or is generating outrage more important than presenting the news?
09:06 July 19, 2012 by DoubleDTown
he was working so hard on the school stuff he didn't have time to get a haircut
09:22 July 19, 2012 by raandy
MichaelZWilliamson good point, welcome to the local.
09:35 July 19, 2012 by twisted
I concur with BobbyBaxter. If you don't fit the German mold, you suffer for it.
10:33 July 19, 2012 by morel
If he¦#39;s rich enough to enrol at a private university then he can afford the fees. Even more so since he¦#39;s already working in Frankfurt, centre of the banking universe. Did he rush to finish, thinking he could save a few bucks? Looks like his get-rich-quick scheme backfired. I have no sympathy for this ¦quot;banker¦quot;.
12:29 July 19, 2012 by zeddriver
This will open up other doors you don't want open. As in. What if I take out a 30 year loan on a home and make extra payments. This is what I did in the US. I paid off a 30 year loan in 18. Should I have still owed 30 years of interest? A court decision like this is called a slippry slope. But this is typical Germany. Zero inititiative. No such thing as a lets get this done attitude. And any body displaying such attitudes vill be shot. As this young man found out.
16:01 July 19, 2012 by sailbatnite
Goes to show you schools not in it to educate. They are only it it for the money. @ zeddriver, I agree it leaves a lot more things open to that type of interpretation.
17:28 July 19, 2012 by lecturenotes2009
better than average? come on, i will never rate students who get 2.3 as better than average, rather than just average. and it's not hardcore science like chemistry or physics, or, engineering, where you have to do all practicums etc. social science, eh, study, ahhh.... they are not backbone of germany to be advanced country.
03:37 July 21, 2012 by dmay
If the University is arguing that the total price of their program is offered at a set price and independent from the length of time spent at their university, doesn't that mean that students who spend an extra year at their university should be offered refunds? Welcome to University Prix Fixe.....
Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd