German Students Fret Over Accelerated Degrees

Judy Dempsey:

Andrea Ballarin, 23, is a self-confident student hoping to graduate soon from Humboldt University in Berlin. But when she starts talking about getting a job once she graduates, her mood changes. The prospects, she said, are slim.
It is not because of the economic crisis facing Germany. Ms. Ballarin, who will graduate in Slavic studies, said the reason for such poor job prospects had more to do with the new higher-education policies the government recently introduced.
“It is not that I think the reforms are bad,” Ms. Ballarin said. “They are needed, but they are so ill-thought out in the way they are being introduced.”
In the past week, those changes have led to student demonstrations and sit-ins in many universities in Germany, which last year turned out over 309,000 graduates. Adding to the students’ anger, several universities have introduced tuition fees, €200 to €500 a semester, or about $300 to $750, to a previously free system.