Credit linked grants rejected

January 27, 1995

German student groups have called on the newly elected Federal Parliament to address a "long overdue increase in student grants as quickly as possible".

Suggestions that students could be taken off the university register if they fail to reach a specified level of performance measured in credits were also rejected by the student arms of the main political parties and the independent Free Association of Students.

German students need a certain number of credits before they are admitted to examinations. The extension of this sanction and coupling of student performance with grants or penalty fees was also criticised.

The Rectors' Conference (HRK) has in the past hinted that it is precisely these measures that might cope with overcrowding and long study time. However, it was in complete agreement with the students that credits should remain the sole responsibility of the universities.

The rectors also rejected the notion of special credits to justify eligibility for student grants.

There are now 1,889,000 students in the Federal Republic. Enrolment seems to be slightly on the decline in the west, whereas in the new Eastern states of the Federal Republic, student numbers are on the increase.

HRK president Hans-Uwe Erichsen said that the relative stability in the number of student numbers this year in comparison to last year indicated that 1989/91 first-year students were completing their courses swiftly.

"Study time has obviously not continued to grow. The attempts of various institutions to encourage students to sit exams seem to be bearing fruit. Structural reforms the universities themselves have initiated are beginning to work," Professor Erichsen said.

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