German student has to pony up tuition fees

Arnsberg, Germany (dpa) - A German court ruled last week that a German student has to pay his university tuition fees in full. This despite his having completed his degree in less than half the usual time.

Marcel Pohl, 22, finished his bachelor and masters degrees in finance and accounting in less than four semesters, rather than the normal 11. Afterwards he stopped paying the remaining fees at his  private university.

The move could have saved him around EUR15,000, but the private FOM Management University of Applied Sciences sued him for not paying the fees in their entirety. The school argued that the price of tuition covered the cost of the degree, regardless of the number of semesters taken to complete it.

The court agreed, ruling that the fees at private colleges, unlike at public universities, were for the total price for the degree rather than per semester. Nevertheless, Pohl said he planned to appeal.

The only way he was able to finish his studies so quickly was by cooperating with two fellow students. During their part-time studies, they attended different seminars and exchanged information from the various classes with one another.

The fast-track student now works for a bank in Frankfurt. In his spare time he is now preparing to complete his doctorate, but this time he is planning to attend a private university in Britain.

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