Fees bill hits deadlock

May 8, 1998

Attempts to resolve the dispute over the adoption of tuition fees in Germany's Higher Education Framework Act appear to have failed. Both ruling coalition and opposition politicians now claim that a compromise is not in sight.

Social Democrats and Bundnis-90/Green Party politicians are demanding that a nationwide ban on tuition fees must be included in an amendment.

They have rejected a proposal from federal education minister Jurgen Ruttgers, a Christian Democrat, to get an administrative agreement between the Lander, or states, stopping any new regulation on fees up to 2003.

The agreement, which could not be cancelled, could have counted on the support of Christian-Democrat and Christian Social Union-governed Lander.

Some Social Democrats initially welcomed the move, but it has now been rejected by all opposition parties on the grounds that an administrative agreement would not be binding on state parliaments.

For example, tuition fees that have just been introduced in Baden-Wurttemberg would not be removed. There fees are charged when a student exceeds the standard period of study (which varies according to the type of institution) by more than four semesters. They have to pay DM 1,000 (Pounds 330) every six months.

The committee mediating between the federal parliament and the federal council is likely to recommend banning tuition fees. But this will certainly be turned down by the parliament.

Mr Ruttgers has said that the coalition government of Christian and Free Democrats will enforce the new act without the approval of the Social-Democrat governed Lander if necessary. This is possible if the federal chancellor backs them but is legally controversial.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Lecturer in Psychology and Counselling ST MARYS UNIVERSITY, TWICKENHAM
Project Manager UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH
University Registrar UNIVERSITY OF WEST LONDON

Most Commented

Artist Frank Boelter sitting in life-size paper boat

Creator of crowdfunding teaching tool says entrepreneurship courses should drop the traditional business plan as a method of assessment

Man photocopying a book

Students think it ‘unfair’ to be punished for unintentional plagiarism

Child drives miniature car into people

Smaller, newer alternative providers are less likely to pass higher education review, analysis says

to write students’ assessed essays in return for cash

Vic Boyd was on the lookout for academic writing opportunities. What she found was somewhat less appetising...

A baby in a bag

Trends in international mobility may explain why fewer women are reaching the top ranks of academia, a Spanish study suggests