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ERIC Number: EJ792180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr-4
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
German Universities Cope with a Novelty--Tuition
Wilhelm, Ian
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n30 pA27 Apr 2008
The past two years have not been easy for Axel Freimuth, rector of the University of Cologne. Students have doused him with water as he walked through the campus, taken his lunch in the cafeteria, and held a two-week sit-in at his wood-paneled office in the Hauptgebaude, or main building. Their anger at the rector arose from a controversial decision the institution made last year--a decision that is part of a widespread change roiling German higher education. For the first time in its 620-year history, the university started charging undergraduates 500 euros, roughly $750, per term for their studies. Unlike the United States, where tuition is a standard part of college life, Germany has historically made higher education free to all its citizens; a philosophy that some Germans say is a crucial part of their society. But cuts in government support, overcrowded classrooms, and buildings in desperate need of repair have forced universities to seek new sources of income. Other European nations have made similar moves to shift more of the costs to students. As Mr. Freimuth's experience demonstrates, the change has not been an easy one. Indeed, thousands of students have sued the University of Cologne and other German institutions in an attempt to overturn the tuition requirement. But the rector has an even more pressing, and unexpected, challenge: how to spend the money. As it turns out, the government's willingness to allow universities to charge tuition has come with strings attached.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany