German students stage nationwide demos

18th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

In the capital Berlin, where police put the number of protestors at around 5,000, students held banners like "Free Education for All" and saying money should be spent on "Education not Banks."

Berlin -- Dozens of German universities ground to a halt on Tuesday as tens of thousands of students demonstrated across the country in protest at education reforms and to call for more financial support.

In the capital Berlin, where police put the number of protestors at around 5,000, students held banners like "Free Education for All" and saying money should be spent on "Education not Banks."

Higher education establishments have been hit for the past week by sit-ins in lecture halls, and students were due to hit the streets in towns and cities like Munich, Heidelberg, Cologne and Hamburg later on Tuesday.

"More money should be spent on education, otherwise in 50 years no one will consider Germany as a top location for research any more," agronomy student Lehnert Willi, 26, told AFP in the capital.

Protesters want tuition fees, which can be between 100 to 500 euros (150 to 750 dollars) per semester, to be scrapped. They also want scholarships to be made available to poorer students based on need not academic achievement.

Students are also unhappy about recent reforms harmonising the German degree system with the rest of Europe under the Bologna process.

Authorities in Germany, where responsibility for education lies with the country's 16 states, not the federal government, are keen to cut costs where it is common for people to study into their late 20s or early 30s.

AFP/Expatica

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