Tuesday two weeks ago, some students occupied our University (German language link), demonstrating against the high tuition costs*; against the University becoming too school-like with the change of the Bologna-processto Bachelor and Masters and the points-system; and against the early selection of children in the school system - Bavarian children, or rather, their parents, have to decide at age 10! after the 4th grade to which school type to send their children, which will have a big effect on their future. If they don’t go to the advanced High School (Gymnasium) and finish it scucessfully with the Abitur, they can’t study at a University, because they haven’t proven their maturity for it. (It used to be impenetrable; todays, children can go to special schools and get an Abitur later, but it still means time lost and a second-rate reputation.)
This is part of a larger action, called “Heisser Herbst” (Hot Autumn**), with not only Universities in Germany, but also in other European countries being occupied, and regular demonstration marches. On the network page, the list of occupied Unis lists even the University of Illinois! They plan to expand this even more.
So - anybody here has heard about this? Several dopers are at universities as students or teachers, I think - are getting involved? (Please no comments on how these lazy students should simply get off their asses and do real work; or how they are all lefties - that gets really, really, really old by now).
- 500 Euros per semester, in addition to the costs for high rent in Munich and for food, public transport and other costs of living. This is a rather recently introduced thing here. In Germany, students don’t get scholarships for sports, because Universities don’t have big sports teams, they are places for studying. There is Bafög, a small amount of money paid to students from poor families with good grades, but the application is long, complicated and the amount is too low to cover all costs.
Moreover experience and studies by PISA and OECD have shown we already have too much of a divide between the classes in regard to education in Germany, and tuition fees only make it more difficult for children from blue-collar families, workers and immigrants to go to University. We should close that gap and help to get more people a good education, not widen it.
** Many students and school pupils marched on the streets in protest in the summer, and the ministers for Education promised to change things - now , nothing has changed, so they are protesting again.