Vintage students pop in for 22nd year

February 21, 2003

A Bavarian university has taken two of its undergraduates to court for taking the concept of lifelong learning too literally.

When the law students, a married couple, tried to enrol for their 43rd and 45th semesters, Friedrich-Alexander-University took legal action, saying that they had not passed the necessary exams.

Dean of students Dietrich Kramer said: "Studying? I wouldn't say that...

Over the last 20 years they definitely haven't been."

But the court disagreed, saying that the students should have been contacted shortly after 1998 legislation came into force requiring regular exams within stated periods.

The case highlights a common problem in Germany, where tuition fees are illegal and where high unemployment deters students entering the jobs market.

Dr Kramer said that the low prices and special treatment for students should not be "some kind of lifelong pension. It's simply a misuse of public funds."

The students could not be reached for comment.

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