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Students Protest the Introduction of Tuition Fees (April 1999)

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For these reasons, we demand:

– The fundamental, individual right to access to all forms of higher education at no cost. This pertains not only to the rejection of direct bills for student tuition, but also to all forms of education coupons and to private savings earmarked for education.

– The clear, legally enshrined prohibition of tuition in the Framework Act for Higher Education [Hochschulrahmengesetz or HRG] and in the higher education laws of the federal states. This prohibition must also apply to administrative fees and to tuition for second degrees; continuing, supplemental, and postgraduate studies; long-term studies; and doctoral studies.

– The termination of state [i.e. Land] pilot projects in which small, private, or semi-private elite institutions of higher education operate alongside public institutions, are substantially subsidized through public funds, and make use of the infrastructure for public institutions of higher education, but nevertheless charge considerable tuition fees.

– The fundamental equalization and mutual permeability of general, so-called vocational and academic forms of education. This requires, for example, the elimination of private fees for all-day vocational schools and master of crafts training.

– The implementation of and compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, ratified [in (West) Germany] in 1973, in which the federal government obliged itself to the progressive introduction of free education at the level of higher education (see also the passage in Article 26 of the U.N. Human Rights Declaration, December 1948).

Source: “Krefelder Aufruf des Aktionsbündnisses gegen Studiengebühren (ABS)” [Krefeld Appeal of the Action Alliance against Tuition Fees (ABS)] (April 1999),

Translation: Allison Brown

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