Germany has thousands of uni spots open

New research published by Spiegel on Friday shows that there are thousands of university placesa unoccupied across the country, while certain hot spots cope with too much demand.

According to Spiegel, Germany's distribution of resources remains a problem. In Cologne, a spokesperson said that they accept more students than they have space for with hopes that some change their minds, leaving the university is at capacity.

"All of our faculties this winter semester are full to capacity. The demand is so strong that we generally accept more students than we have room for," Patrick Honecker told the magazine.  

Despite the University of Cologne's problems, Spiegel found that nearly 15,000 available places even in subjects that have restricted admission guidelines in place, and says that the number is probably higher due to some states not keep record of unoccupied seats.

North Rhine-Westphalia reported the largest number of available university spots, counting 8,398 free places in the restricted admission fields for a bachelor's degree.

University programmes in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania saw the lowest demand, as Spiegel found that 16.1 percent of all undergraduate places were available there, while more than a quarter (26.1 percent) of  Masters places were unoccupied.

Berlin, Brandenburg, Hesse, Schleswig-Holstein and Saarland are among the states that do not keep centralised records of available university spaces.

The Federal Ministry of Education told Spiegel it was up to individual states to make sure that all students looking for a university degree got a spot, no matter where they wished to study.

Meanwhile, state respresentatives say that their federal counterparts should create a centralised allocation method that would fairly serve both states and students. This has already been announced, but has yet to materialise.

Until 2008, there was a "Central Office for the Allocation of Places" (ZVS), but was shut down due to states and educational institutes demanding that students should be able to choose for themselves where they wanted to study. 

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Pay women footballers the same as men, says German chancellor

Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday made a push for equal pay for men and women international footballers after Germany's successful run at the recent European Championships.

Pay women footballers the same as men, says German chancellor

“My position on this is clear,” Scholz said after a meeting with the German Football Association (DFB) to discuss the issue.

“We talked about how we can continue to help more girls and women get excited about football. Of course, the wages at such tournaments play a major role in this,” he said.

“That’s why it makes sense to discuss equal pay. I made the suggestion and I’m very grateful that there is a willingness to discuss this issue.”

Germany scored their biggest major tournament success since 2015 at this year’s European Championships, losing to England in the final at Wembley.

Scholz attended the final and also supported the women’s team by tweeting: “It’s 2022, and women and men should be paid equally. This also applies to sport, especially for national teams.”

READ ALSO: Scholz to cheer on Germany at Euro 2022 final

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visits the DFP headquarters on Tuesday.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visits the DFP (German Football Association) headquarters on Tuesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sebastian Gollnow

Germany’s women would have received €60,000 each if they had triumphed at the tournament, while the men would have received €400,000 each had they prevailed at the Euros last year.

Bernd Neuendorf, president of the DFB, said he understood the argument “that equal work and success should also have the same value”.

“I’m willing to discuss in our committees whether our payment system is up to date or whether it should be adjusted,” he said.

Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg suggested that international footballers’ wages could be evened out by paying women more and men less.

Officials must now “follow up with action” after the meeting, she said in an interview with the ZDF broadcaster.

Scholz said he was “very, very proud” of the women’s performance at the Euros, even if “it didn’t quite work out”.

“I hope it will have a long-lasting effect, not only on the players themselves… but also on football in Germany,” he said.