Students barred over bank error

February 8, 2002

More than a dozen students have been thrown out of Innsbruck University for paying €4 (£2.44) too little for their €410 a semester tuition fees.

The students thought they had paid their fees by money transfer. But an Austrian bank kept back the money as bank charges, and the fee payments to the university were too little, according to the newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung .

Manuel Audi, one of the students, gave up his job in Munich to move to Innsbruck to study international economics but got approval to enrol only in late October. "Then I had to wait another three to four weeks for the payment slip for the tuition fees. At the end of November I paid the money in Germany," he said.

But the Austrian bank held back €4 and the university barred him because his winter semester payment was short. He was not allowed to make up the missing money because the fees deadline had passed.

According to the university, about 15 other students, mainly from Italy and Germany, have suffered a similar fate.

University spokeswoman Rosa-Maria Reinalter-Treffer said 150 students had forgotten to put a cross in the right place on payment forms. They had registered earlier, in October, so the university had been able to contact them about the mistake.

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