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University Sues Student For Graduating Early

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the slow-down dept.

Education 232

"A student who attended a private German economics and business university is being sued by the school because he finished his degree too quickly. Marcel Pohl finished 60 exams in 20 months, completing 11 semesters worth of work in only 3. The school says it is due an extra €3,000 for lost income because, "its fees are the total price for the studies, independent of how long the studies last." "When I got the lawsuit, I thought it couldn't be true. Performance is supposed to be worth something," Pohl said.

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A bit late methinks (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567283)

If they wanted to charge by the credit hour, they should have done so.

Re:A bit late methinks (5, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567461)

Not sure about Germany, but around here they charge by the credit hour for part time (typically under 12 credit hours per semester), and anything considered "full time" (12+ credits/semester) is under a flat "full time" tuition rate. However, at least at my college, we had to get special permission to take more than 18 credits per semester (15 was considered normal, but I know this varies a lot from college to college). I wanted to get my degree is four semesters, but my advisor made me do it in six (eight is the "ideal" for a four-year degree).

Re:A bit late methinks (4, Insightful)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567809)

Depending on the courses 18 hours is a lot. I finished my degree taking 15 hours and working full time. If I wasn't at school or work, I was at home studying or sleeping.

Re:A bit late methinks (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567835)

Same here. I finished my undergraduate "on time" but I was working 35 hours a week. And I STILL had to take out some loans, because my grants didn't cover summer tuition or books.

Re:A bit late methinks (1)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567827)

They charged me per-credit for my overload schedule. Nothing was free. Ever.

I thought education and healthcare and everything was free in Germany. ?

Re:A bit late methinks (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40568211)

He went to a private university, which can charge a lot more. How much you pay for education also depends on the state you're in. My state (NRW) was ruled by the anti-tuition SPD/Greens, then switched to a tuition model in 2005 under the new CDU/FDP government and then in 2010 abolished tuition again, when the SPD and the Greens returned. Still, there are some fees that are not considered tuition that you still have to pay, but that amounts to about 200 € per semester (e.g. a mandatory public transport ticket). Even tuition is usually only 250 €, 500 € or 1000 € per semester in publicly funded universities.

Healthcare isn't free at all, it's just that health insurance is mandatory and also part of the welfare here. There are some corner cases where you can end up without healthcare at all, e.g. when you're self-employed.

Re:A bit late methinks (3, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567469)

Private institution.

The invisible hand bribes lawmakers and sets the penalties for non-compliance.

Re:A bit late methinks (0, Offtopic)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567787)

You mean ... like ... Obamacare???

Event Horizon of the Affordable Care Act (-1, Offtopic)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567993)

The impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still a mystery. Some provisions of the law are straight-forward, such as the pre-existing conditions clause. We know that people will be able to secure insurance despite their pre-existing medical conditions, which is the way it should be, but what remains to be seen is the overall impact after consumers and insurance companies both seek their greatest advantage by exploiting the letter of the law and that which is not laid out in the actual wording.

It is impossible to craft legislation of this scope to cover every caveat and cost. Big, technical projects often require an incremental approach to tweak the system to near perfection. A big contention and worry is the impact this will have on small businesses. The ACA exempts businesses with less than 50 employees from most penalties, but there are a lot of companies that technically have more than 50 employees across all of their marginally profitable business units.

Restaurants quickly come to mind but there are other businesses in the same position as well. Small restaurant chains are often organized under a single corporation with less than 50 employees at each location, amounting to hundreds of employees spread over the entire organization. In our current economic climate these companies have been struggling to make any profit with a majority of their affluent customers cutting back on unnecessary expenses (eating out). Under the letter of the law these companies will have to pay a penalty on each employee in the corporation who does not have insurance. Most of the employees at a restaurant do not have insurance and a large swath of food service employees are on Medicaid. The ACA also levies a penalty on employers who’s employees are covered by Medicaid.

We might see a couple of things happen. Often, people predict doom and gloom by saying that businesses will just close their doors. This is far from the truth as owners typically do not want to close down a business if there is a chance of making a profit. Instead they will change their business to comply with the letter of the law. First, many will change the status of their employees to avoid insurance penalties, meaning many will be scaled back to part-time status if it results in savings. This already happens quite a bit, SSCC has 384 part-time (39 hours) employees and 93 full-time—it’s cheaper to cycle two employees through a schedule instead of having one full time. Others will reduce the number of employees and perhaps try to use “contractors” for more services and saddle the remaining employees with more work. If I owned a restaurant chain I might try to find a way to reorganize so that each location was its own business unit (corporation), each with less than 50 employees.

Another possibility is that employers would require employees to carry and pay for company sponsored insurance. In a restaurant, this would probably consume two weeks of pay from each employee that had to do that. This is not a solution, but it could very well be forced. There may be a lot of cases brought forth that will test and ultimately tweak the new health care law in this regard.

Besides these scenarios that I mention, the health care law is a very attractive and progressive measure that should have been adopted long ago. One provision that looks good on paper is the 80/20 requirement. Health insurance companies have to spend at least 80% of revenue on premiums. Were they already doing this anyway, I don’t know. Its affect yet remains to be seen. Another striking provision of the ACA lets people buy insurance across state lines, rather it lets insurance companies sell across state lines. I didn’t know this wasn’t possible before, but this should level the playing field of the market and stir up a bit more competition—always a good thing.

Another thing that is very popular is a provision letting “children” stay on a parent’s health plan until age 26. This should help smooth out a few costs for parents who have kids in college as many universities require their students to have health insurance. Still, while many college students were able to purchase inexpensive and surprisingly adequate coverage through school plans before, coverage level mandates in the ACA will eliminate that option—I had a problem with that. Young people often do not need full-blown coverage. The cost realities of universal coverage require a certain amount of money from everyone, and the amount paid by students for their coverage was not quite up to that level however.

So we see that a certain amount of compulsion (force) has to be used to enact a universal coverage system. Essentially the ACA was crafted to extract a certain base amount from everyone to level the field and spread the benefit to most of American society. In doing this you are always going to anger some people while making others happy. Insurance companies are going to sacrifice, businesses are going to sacrifice—although some would like assurance that large companies are not exempted from contributing—and some citizens will ultimately pay more. While it is hard to determine exactly what will happen in every situation it is important to remember that we are solving a problem and that the ACA legislation is not seeking to penalize anyone just for the sake of penalizing them.

Still a mystery, some factions of small business claim it will hurt them while others argue it is a good thing that will lower costs. I do know one thing for sure, added uncertainty in rough economic times is not good for business and investment. Our government needs to communicate clearly to small businesses about the financial impact on them. Anomalous claims of lower costs for everyone do little to inspire confidence and investment. Business is always dealing with uncertainty, but when you pile on more you can paralyze markets.

I didn’t vote for Obama, and I loathe a lot of his economic policies, but it is important to note also that the ACA is essentially compiled from the best ideas originating from all political affiliations. I remain confident that we will be able to fix any problems in the current legislation and I hope our government remains vigilant in preserving a sane economic environment for small businesses (a stretch, I know).

Re:Event Horizon of the Affordable Care Act (1, Insightful)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568271)

Health insurance companies have to spend at least 80% of revenue on premiums.

I think you don't mean premiums - that's the revenue. I think you meant medical payments. So, given that ... The problem with this is that it's way too easy to juggle the books on this sort of requirement - especially for HMOs where the treatment is being performed by another subsidiary of a holding company. For example, the holding company can have the insurance company pay for records management to another company, which is owned by the holding company. The records management company can run at a 90% profit, charging the insurance company through the nose. It's a bit harder to hide the profits in the treatment side, but since typically each insurer has a different payment schedule with each clinic, the clinical side can charge the insurer an extra 5% above what it charges another insurer. So that 10% does not show up as profit to the insurer, but it does show up for the holding company. This gambit is common in many industries, and can be made so complex that it is impossible to know what or where the profits are.

Re:A bit late methinks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40568311)

Your comment is totally off topic. Typical of knee jerk teabaggers. The world is changing whither you like it or not. Have at look at this article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-06-28/the-rise-of-innovative-state-capitalism

It seems to me... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567763)

that you pay a university so they can pay rent, salaries of their professors and various other expenses necessary to actually have a university. A person who completed 11 semesters of work in 3 clearly didn't sit in classes (much), thereby not expending the time of instructors nor the space in the lecture halls. As an old room mate of mine used to do in university, he probably signed up for the class and went to the instructor on the first day of class and asked for the final exam.

I'm not sure what the university thinks they lost, aside from some obtuse reference to some sort of IP claim for the quality of the education they gave the guy, which clearly couldn't have been much, since he probably didn't attend classes.

Re:It seems to me... (2)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568285)

Funny, most uni's appear to be quite proud of those who finish early, and promote them in the bulletin and so forth. They probably think it tends to attract other smart folks.

Re:It seems to me... (0)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568469)

I disagree. When I was in college I had to study by back end off. I knew a number of guys that rarely went to class who were straight A students. There was one class I did take that I didn't have to go to class except for "quizzes" and exams and aced every one of them. The professor gave me a "C" because I never went to class. I appealed and ended up with a B, even thought I aced every quiz and every exam. It was a history class which was not in my major (I took it as an elective). The people in it were pretty stupid and it was a 300 level course.

Re:A bit late methinks (5, Insightful)

animaal (183055) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568245)

Actually, this could be good.

If I fail exams and have to repeat a year or two, I don't have to pay extra for those years?

I bet that occurs far more often than people finishing early.

why not go all the way and say for X cash you get (5, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567291)

why not go all the way and say for X cash you get X degree.

As they don't seem to care about any ones Performance just the cash.

Re:why not go all the way and say for X cash you g (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567357)

Nah, because they'll want you to pay more if you take longer.

Re:why not go all the way and say for X cash you g (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567497)

Then is it also safe to assume this "school" would have no problem with a student casually taking courses for 10 or 20 years? Of course not.

One would think they would be proud of such a motivated and capable student, but this so-called Business School is about to get their own expensive lesson in "The Streisand Effect."

Re:why not go all the way and say for X cash you g (4, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567455)

That's more or less how such "private" commercial universities work.

Re:why not go all the way and say for X cash you g (2)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567467)

Funny enough, it will probably cost them more than 3k in legal fees to get this kids 3k.

Re:why not go all the way and say for X cash you g (4, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567613)

That was how my college viewed the laptops purchased through the school. They were supposed to be paid along with the tuition bill over four semesters, but nearly half of the freshmen didn't make it past the second semester but still kept the laptop. The school would send a letter to them saying to return the laptop, pay the money or possibly face legal action. It usually didn't work, but the school made up for it by charging everyone $2500 for a laptop that would have been around $1500 retail (including three year warranty).

Re:why not go all the way and say for X cash you g (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568357)

Not really. It is easy to file a lawsuit. You file pleadings, the defendant must answer (no answer = default), and the judge can be asked to rule on the pleadings or make a summary judgement. No court, no lawyers, probably get a judgement against the student which will allow the court to garnish them if the evidence is not in dispute.

Re:why not go all the way and say for X cash you g (0, Troll)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567913)

As they don't seem to care about any ones Performance just the cash.

Which is exactly why the GOP is trying to slay public education:

0) billionaires want money back from housing crash
1) pay GOP to declare witch hunt on labor unions
2) without unions, drop teacher wages to poverty level
3) teachers quit, go work at McDonalds
4) public panics. state says "we'll save you". privatized education.
5) private school raises tuition. billionaire can now afford Cuban cigars and Corinthian leather asswipe.

Re:why not go all the way and say for X cash you g (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568405)

We go with hand woven silken asswipes these days. Hand woven by thai child prostitutes for the extra smooth feeling. Apart from that, spot on. Don't listen for the black helicopters, they are in whisper mode anyway.

Re:why not go all the way and say for X cash you g (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568451)

Consider that the cost of public education in the US has tripled over the last 40 years, and the results have, shall we say, not kept up.
Consider that in general private education regularly has better results at dramatically less cost - as does home schooling.
Consider that home schooling, when successful, typically takes only a couple of hours per day instead of six or eight - dramatically better efficiency.
Consider that, immediately given the chance, 70% of Wisconsin teachers have stopped paying dues to the primary proponent of the federal education behemoth - the National Education Association. In my own experience as a child and a parent, teachers at two different local schools refused to join NEA as they considered it to be counter-educational.
Consider that, according to an article I read yesterday, the average hourly pay of a teacher in the US is more than the average architect or nurse, with generally much better benefits.
Consider that in countries all over the world, including India and other poor countries in Africa, dirt-poor parents will pay from their meagre subsistence income to send their kids to private schools instead of free public schools because they get much better results. Many villages will have several private schools and an empty public school.
Consider that poor parents in the inner city are the most vocal advocates of voucher systems that would allow their children to go to any reasonably nearby school, instituting supply and demand based on quality - something that the NEA has single-handedly managed to block for two decades.

What does that tell you about 'free' public education?

It is worth something. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567365)

Performance is supposed to be worth something,

It is, it's worth €3,000, now pay up.

Slashdot MO (1, Troll)

Oh Gawwd Peak Oil (1000227) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567373)

Slashdot:

- Find silly lawsuits

- Post inflammatory articles about them

- Wait until all the nerds scream in self-righteous rage

- Profit!

- Repeat, repeat again...

Actually, it seems to work pretty well.

Re:Slashdot MO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567415)

profit???

Re:Slashdot MO (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567705)

Your steps are slightly off, the first two steps are performed by media agencies with reporters,

then a blogger makes a post on his blog that gets the facts even more wrong than the reporter does,

and then someone posts an even less correct summary to /.

AND THEN you get the nerds screaming in self-righteous rage.

If it was legal to sue for finishing early... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567375)

Well, let's just say my wife would have lawyered up long ago!

Business schools ... (5, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567381)

... what do you expect? America is infested with "business" and "management" degree-holders who don't contribute anything, don't produce anything, don't create anything, and yet have managed to worm their way into control of a substantial portion of the economy; and with schools that cater to those hoping to join their ranks. I'm not at all surprised that Germany has the same problem, or that such people turn on each other at the least opportunity. No honor among thieves.

Re:Business schools ... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567813)

This was in Germany... but please, continue the America bashing!

Re:Business schools ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567887)

You obviously read "America" and stopped there. You fail at life.

Re:Business schools ... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568039)

The point is that for something that was done in Germany and had nothing to do with America the GGP sure spent a lot of time bashing America around.
Sure at some point he got around to bashing another country as well but the truth is quite clear.
He wanted to bitch about America and it probably does not matter what the story is he was going to get in some America bashing.

Re:Business schools ... (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568309)

He wanted to bitch about America and it probably does not matter what the story is he was going to get in some America bashing.

What I'm bashing is the business class -- the new nobility -- and their hangers-on who cluster around them in hopes that someday they might get to sit at the high table, like the illiterate thugs back in Ye Badde Olde Dayes who called themselves "knights" and slavishly followed other illiterate thugs who happened to hold titles in hopes that someday they might earn the privilege of being one of those titled thugs themselves. The forms have changed; the mindset remains exactly the same. If I use America as an example, it's because I'm American and so the American variety is the one I'm most familiar with; the point of my post is that I'm saddened but not surprised that Germany has the same problem. It is, sadly, a mindset which knows no borders.

Re:Business schools ... (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568075)

Actually, we don't have that problem on the same scale. Private universities like this are pretty much Mickey-Mouse-outfits. Real science is done on the public funded universities.

Re:Business schools ... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568461)

Private universities like this are pretty much Mickey-Mouse-outfits.

Indeed, but there are a lot of them, and they're churning out graduates who are indistinguishable, in HR's eye, from people who have real degrees from real universities. I disagree that we don't have the problem on the same scale -- AFAICT the for-profit diploma mill business is booming all over.

Real science is done on the public funded universities.

True enough, and as an academic scientist I'm very glad to be out of the corporate rat race. But I remember it all too well, particularly the infestation of MBAs. They've wrecked business and are now knocking on the doors of academia; hopefully we can fight them off, but it won't be easy. (They've also made serious inroads in medicine and the military, two other worlds I know something about and where the b-school mentality is equally destructive.) It's easy to sneer at them, but you shouldn't underestimate them. They're numerous, well-funded, and cunning.

Re:Business schools ... (2)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568371)

don't create anything

We create demand you insensitive clod!

Uni is Boned (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567385)

The kid works for a Bank now, if anybody knows anything about financial loopholes, its the Bank.

just like Stanford (1)

at10u8 (179705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567393)

except that Stanford's policy makes it clear in advance that is, basically, a tuition requirement for a degree

Re:just like Stanford (2)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568059)

No, it's not at ALL like Stanford (or any other similar school with basically the same policies).

Specifically, for undergrad Stanford charges flat rate tuition by the quarter for as many units as you can handle (min 12, ave 15, max somewhat negotiable with your advisor but rarely more than 20). You need 180 units to graduate with 1 degree, minimum 135 from Stanford (plus your degree requirements). If you need/want to take summer school, you pay for that quarter. If you need a whole extra year, you pay for those quarters. If you get done a quarter or two early, you don't pay for those (common for BAs majors with lots of AP credits). They just don't allow you to randomly "take exams" (same as most US universities) - you have to take the *classes* to get the units, so it's self-limiting based on how many you take per quarter.

Re:just like Stanford (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568547)

They just don't allow you to randomly "take exams" (same as most US universities) - you have to take the *classes* to get the units, so it's self-limiting based on how many you take per quarter.

That's not true at all, most colleges and universities will allow you to take a course by exam. Generally there's a limit to between 20 and 25% of total credit hours, but that's generally not a problem. I know my mom finished her teaching degree by taking two of her classes by exam while she was doing her student teaching, 18 hour days were the norm for her during that semester!

Sigh (4, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567395)

Yet another company trying to legislate itself a profit.

As far as the law *should* be concerned, unless the university had in its contract terms restricting how quickly you can graduate or something to that effect, there's no case here. If they didn't think of that, it's their own damn fault for writing a contract with a "loophole" (although I'd say that graduating that quickly by actually doing all the work quickly isn't a loophole, it's just the right way to do it).

We really need to toughen the laws on frivolous or groundless cases.

Re:Sigh (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568263)

The lawsuit seems really idiotic to me. If this is a problem, then go ahead and chance your policies to not allow kids to test out of classes without taking them--that's what most universities do if there are a bunch of BS classes that they need butts in just to pay the rent. Sure you're out $3k on this kid, but that's nothing, especially if you start to work up the legal fees of this crazy lawsuit. The bad press and public ridicule is not worth the $3k, a quiet rewrite of the university policies would be more than sufficient.

Add another 3 months (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567405)

He should get his law degree and countersue. Should take, what, 3 months?

This seems like a strange thing for a lawsuit... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567407)

While I can imagine it offending the purists, there wouldn't be anything fundamentally broken about a school choosing to price their services by credit-hour, or by degree, as opposed to per semester. However, if they don't do that ahead of time, that would seem to leave them with very little legal recourse if somebody manages to complete their studies faster than expected.

If, on the other hand, the school did price that way, and the student isn't paying up as agreed because he thinks that he shouldn't have to, it would seem like he has no leg to stand on.

Either way, it seems like a weird thing to progress to the lawsuit stage. If the school's case is actually "But, you violated our assumptions!!!", their lawyers must be insane(or really cheap, 3k isn't going to buy too much legal time...) If the student isn't paying up 'because performance is supposed to be worth something', this seems like a relatively small collections matter, which would likely be handled by masses of demand letters for a period of time before an actual suit...

Re:This seems like a strange thing for a lawsuit.. (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567921)

While I can imagine it offending the purists, there wouldn't be anything fundamentally broken about a school choosing to price their services by credit-hour, or by degree, as opposed to per semester.

I can't imagine why it would offend purists or be fundamentally broken. Maybe my state university was unusual (though I doubt it), but you basically paid for two things: tuition, which was $X per credit hour, and room and board, which was a fixed amount per semester.

Re:This seems like a strange thing for a lawsuit.. (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568171)

"this seems like a relatively small collections matter, which would likely be handled by masses of demand letters for a period of time before an actual suit..."

Universities don't do collections. You pay what they think you owe, then you graduate. No money, no degree. The story smells funny, which almost always means that we don't know the whole story.

Now that's stupid (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567451)

Top 3 reasons why that was a stupid move:

1) You are attempting to sue a genius, your odds of winning are not exactly great.
2) You just wasted hundreds of thousands in free marketing opportunities. Instead of praising the student in the media (along with your University's name), you may now end up being hated in the media.
3) Punishing your own clients and making it public has never ammounted to a great business strategy.

Re:Now that's stupid (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567871)

Obviously not a genius if he didn't read the fine print.

Re:Now that's stupid (5, Funny)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568185)

3) Punishing your own clients and making it public has never ammounted to a great business strategy.

*checks Sony's stock price*

Looks fine to me.

The Local (5, Interesting)

Corbets (169101) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567463)

Can you please stop posting articles from the Local? As I've explained in other threads, it's a "service" that steals content without attribution from local news sources in Germany Sweden and Switzerland, summarizes it, translates it to English, and sensationalizes it, then makes money off of your page views.

It's crap, it's misleading, and at times it's just plain wrong. Pop over to the EnglishForum.ch if you want to see what expats in the area actually think of the Local.

As for this article, we're undoubtedly missing part of the story. Wait a few hours and see what develops once someone links a real news source.

Re:The Local (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567579)

Thats more work than slashdot does, but point taken.

Re:The Local (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567607)

Can you please stop posting articles from the Local? As I've explained in other threads...

This may surprise you, but nobody cares about what you've posted in other threads.

Re:The Local (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567905)

I fuckin' LOL'd.

Re:The Local (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567807)

The only part the /. crowd cares about is the translate to English portion.

If you can find a good news source for the stories in English then post them.

If you can't then translate it and show us what we are missing.

Re:The Local (2)

Corbets (169101) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568105)

The only part the /. crowd cares about is the translate to English portion.

If you can find a good news source for the stories in English then post them.

If you can't then translate it and show us what we are missing.

Right. Go back up to the bit about no attribution. The tell me how I should translate it for you.

Re:The Local (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568307)

Right. Go back up to the bit about the /. crowd only cares about it being in English.

They don't care that it isn't correctly attributed as long as they can read it. Being able to read the story is the primary concern.

From what you said The Local translates these stories themselves, if that is correct then I rather doubt there is a secondary English source for these stories.

Re:The Local (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40568499)

Just wait until the original stories are released under the "Creative Commons Attribution" license. Then slashdotters will care.

Re:The Local (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568119)

I don't think they'll be making money off /. page views. No one here clicks the linked article.

Re:The Local (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568257)

Can you please stop posting articles from the Local? As I've explained in other threads, it's a "service" that steals content without attribution from local news sources in Germany Sweden and Switzerland, summarizes it, translates it to English, and sensationalizes it, then makes money off of your page views. It's crap, it's misleading, and at times it's just plain wrong.

So it's a bit like Slashdot, except for the translation part?

Original Article Comment (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567479)

Best comment from the original article:

"This story really hits home because the same thing happened to me. I finished early, yet was still expected to pay the full fee. In fairness, I should point out it was with a hooker instead of a University. But it's kind of the same thing... right?"

Re:Original Article Comment (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568045)

And the hooker provided a user friendly interface.

No course work? (4, Informative)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567503)

Seems odd to me that one could get both bachelors and masters degrees from a university solely by passing a set of exams. In other words, there was no course work required (though it sounds like he did have to complete an internship). A big part of university should be learning how research and think critically - then apply both to the world around you. Doesn't seem like much of that was happening here. This smells like a for-profit diploma mill.

I can't say that I feel sorry that a school that has likely been gaming the education world got gamed by a few students.

lot's of degrees /classes are just about the tests (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567627)

lot's of degrees /classes are just about the tests that test how good that you are at cramming then knowing what the tests cover.

That is why IT needs to be apprenticeship like (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567673)

That is why IT needs to be apprenticeship like or at least some kind of tech school system where you do real work and have class projects.

CS is not IT and lots of people with BA / BS in CS do not know what they are doing but they some times get in over people who don't have a BA / BS but did take tech school classes and know what they are doing.

Re:No course work? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567727)

He did three semesters for a Bachelors and Masters degree together. If my experience in getting a Bachelors is the same as his, then that sounds about right for taking all the courses necessary to learn research and critical thinking - the rest were pretty much just "here's the information, now regurgitate it!" courses. Besides, if the tests were any good, they'd evaluate his critical thinking skills - so if he already had those skills, then yes, he could test out of those courses too.

Re:No course work? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567965)

He did demonstrate that he is capable of doing research and thinking critically and applying it, and the school is absolutely pissed that he did so.

The part I suspect the school is actually pissed about is how he managed with some friends to share notes regarding lectures that were taking place simultaneously. Although according to the article he and his friends did get permission before hand.

Re:No course work? (1)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568057)

A big part of university should be learning how research and think critically

"Should be" does not equal "is".

More importantly, you seem to have missed the part about this coming from a Business school. What sort of "research" would they teach, "How to use the Myers-Briggs classification system to discriminate without breaking the law in six easy steps"?

Re:No course work? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568243)

This smells like a for-profit diploma mill.

There are other kinds?

5th Year Freshman (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567505)

By that logic, then I should pay for 4 years of school regardless of how long I attend.

Re:5th Year Freshman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567695)

Came here to say this. I seriously doubt they would be willing to support this argument if it was the /student/ using it to justify not paying for extended studies.

So, play ball! (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567513)

"You want me to pay extra? Fair enough. I will go stand in front of the press and declare that, due to the ease of securing a degree, this shall no longer be considered a learned university."

"Well, hang on a minute..."

grade (1)

Tooke (1961582) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567535)

The article says he got a grade of 2.3. Does Germany use a different grading system than the US? Over here that would be a pretty terrible grade.

Re:grade (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567625)

Generally, at least when I went to university, grades where running from 1 (excellent) to 6 (failed in every way imaginable and then some). Grading used to differ greatly between different fields of study. In biochemistry, my field, 2.3 would have been respectable. Good work, not brilliant, though.

Re:grade (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567655)

The article says he got a grade of 2.3. Does Germany use a different grading system than the US? Over here that would be a pretty terrible grade.

According to this chart [wikipedia.org] , it's about equivalent to an A-/B+ average under the US system.

Fee Structure (2)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567561)

The article doesn't say how fees are handle at German Universities. Do you 'subscribe' and pay by the month or something?

At American Universities, you have two sets of fees, (both paid in advance):
        Tuition is by the class or 'credit hours.' If you want the class, you have to pay the fee. If you want to 'test out' of the class, you still pay just as much, but you only have to take one test to prove you know the material.
        Fees are there just for being a student during that time (per semester). These go to various perks and stuff you get for being a student. I've been trying to think of examples, but I can't come up with any. I know that a lot of people are always complaining about the 'athletics fee' since they don't derive any benefit out of that.

In this example, he would have had to pay for all of his tuition for the classes he took, but he would have only had to pay the 'Fees' for the 3 months he was actually a student. I can't imagine the University saying, "pay for 2 more semesters because you're too smart." They might claim the right to use your name and story as advertising.

Re:Fee Structure (4, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567711)

Private universities are a rare breed in Germany, there are only a couple, and, like the article demonstrates, they are largely in the ripping-people-off business. The majority of universities, and, in particular, the scientifically good universities, only change a nominal fee per semester - something like 500 euros nominal administrative fee or such. Been a while - I attended while the dinosaurs still roamed the earth ;)

Re:Fee Structure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40568161)

At American public universities you first go through a thorough evaluation of your ability to pay tuition.
          If you are unable to pay then you are pointed towards one of the many lending organizations
                    If you do not qualify for a loan you are directed towards the government which will secure a loan for you
Once the university is secure in the knowledge that you can pay them, they give you your credit/course requirements
          You must have X many credits in order to graduate with Y degree.
          X Credits cost Z dollars
          Your degree, Y, therefore, costs a minimum of Z dollars.
                    If you fail a class or change your major your credits will be reassessed and you may end up paying much more
                    If you test out of a class you still pay for those credits
When you graduate from the university someone will have paid them for your degree. Whether or not you actually learned anything is your problem.
I learned that I never again want to pay another person to learn something I can get from a book. A degree is a confidence trick -- nothing more.

About all the university can do, I think.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567675)

Mp> ... is withhold his degree, or retract it, if it has already been given.

There is no need for lawyers at all... if they have any legitimate entitlement to payment, they can simply hold his degree hostage until he pays the monies owed.

That said, however, I find it absurd what they are doing... and it could have been entirely avoided if the institution had simply arranged their pricing structure more around the number of course credits being taken, rather than just per semester.

Fair is Fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567689)

So, by their own logic, if the degree took 12 semester instead of the required 11, that last semester should be free.
It depends you say? Ok, let's predicate your answer on whether the student applied themselves successfully or not.
The 12 semester student graduated Cum Laude (or better) - they bviously applied themselves successfully, correct? Then they should not have to pay for the last semester. The school essentially breeched a contract that stated they would graduate with a degree in 11 semesters.

Study on a contract to the university/college (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567839)

What next, in addition to all the fees (downpayment), you will have to sign a contract to offer the university 25% of your monthly wages for 36 months?

Re:Study on a contract to the university/college (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567985)

What next, in addition to all the fees (downpayment), you will have to sign a contract to offer the university 25% of your monthly wages for 36 months?

and when you work a min wage job they get 0 as taking out any will put you under the min wage.

 

Something similar happend to me in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567857)

I could have gone to a reasonably good state school for free. Instead I chose an Ivy school and paid full freight (this was back before need-blind admissions). I finished all the necessary coursework in three years and asked if I could finish early. No. Could I do a couple of semesters at the state school? Yes, of course. But you still have to pay us for those semesters to get your degree.

I certainly understand their point of view, but would rather have had the extra $20k and the fancy paper.

the bigger picture in this that one size fit all i (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567863)

the bigger picture in this that one size fit all idea about college is not working and the push for college for all is leading to stuff like this.

And it is not just on one side it is on all of them.

* College is not the best fit for all learning styles

* The college time tables are not the best fit for today.

* College is not the best for people with disabilities.

* there is to much put on the well rounded ideas.

* Testing needs to be more open book

* Jobs need to drop the idea need college for jobs.

* Jobs need to look at more of a vocational school / apprenticeships system (also put internships in hear (not tied to college))

* More schools maybe should stop offering BA, BS, AA, AS and move to a smaller chunk Badges system.

* Colleges need to cut down the filler and required classes as well need credits.

* All credits for any school need to be transferred 100% no BS like you must take our math classes.

* Drop all swim tests and needed PE classes.

Re:the bigger picture in this that one size fit al (0)

FreakyGeeky (23009) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568013)

* there is to much put on the well rounded ideas.

What, like the ability to communicate effectively through writing?

* Jobs need to drop the idea need college for jobs.

Perhaps my doctor would have lower rates if he didn't go to medical school.

* All credits for any school need to be transferred 100% no BS like you must take our math classes.

Some schools are a joke and don't deserve their credits to be counted anywhere else for any purpose whatsoever.

Re:the bigger picture in this that one size fit al (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568237)

by FreakyGeeky (23009) Alter Relationship on Friday July 06, @03:20PM (#40568013)

                * there is to much put on the well rounded ideas.

                What, like the ability to communicate effectively through writing?

                What, like the ability to communicate effectively through writing? is one thing but ART history, music, other history classes (at the college level), Hip-Hop Dance, Chocolate Science, Wine & Beer, hobby stuff, ECT. Do not belong at the college price level and class time frame.

                * Jobs need to drop the idea need college for jobs.

                Perhaps my doctor would have lower rates if he didn't go to medical school.

Well maybe they don't need a full 4 years before med school and maybe there should some ideas I like we will help pay off loans if you take medicaid.

But for lot's of other jobs there is not need for 4 years or even 2 also (when most community max out at 2 years)

                * All credits for any school need to be transferred 100% no BS like you must take our math classes.

                Some schools are a joke and don't deserve their credits to be counted anywhere else for any purpose whatsoever.

Well it's not just joke ones it's community college that had have hit some blocks, also moving from one university to a other.

Also some of the joke ones are a joke if you look at them in some lights but not so much in others. (they should not be tied to the college system) they need a Badges system.

Tribeca flashpoint is good and gives you lots of real skills doing real work BUT it is only a 2 year plan and is seen as a tech school in the light of the college system and that is why * Jobs need to drop the idea need college for jobs.

  As why should I go to a 4 year collage and learn a lot of theory with a BIG skills gap when I can go to a 2 year plan and learn real skills.

Where is the AA/AS Gen edu and the BA/BS Gen edu GED system?

Re:the bigger picture in this that one size fit al (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40568143)

The bigger picture here, as alumnus from a German public university, is that private unis have the only purpose of fucking you in the arse, grabbing your purse, slitting your throat then fucking your corpse for good measure. Degree mills for MBAs at an outrageous cost, scientifically worthless. Education is provided by evil socialist public universities.

worth (2)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567867)

Performance is supposed to be worth something

Yeah, it's worth exactly -€3,000. Maybe you didn't learn as much about economics as you thought...

Did they up the needed classes or credits (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567881)

Did they up the needed classes or credits after he stared and now they want him to pay for them.

still a bargain (1)

fadethepolice (689344) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567891)

3,000 euros for 8 semesters? Isn't that like 4500 euros? That is cheaper than one semester at an american school.

"Big School" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40567971)

you here the anticapitalist always complaining about big oil, big pharmacy etc...
but never a word about "big education". Universities are a MONEY MAKING
racket. Between their sports programs (some of which is "donation money")
to all the huge buildings, teachers salaries, no wonder you can go into debt
to the cost of a house by attending a traditional four year school.

Private university punishing success (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40567987)

This will get interesting once the libertarians show up...

Re:Private university punishing success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40568551)

This will get interesting once the libertarians show up...

Why? Libertarians don't deny that private entities can be stupid -- and this university is being stupid. Whether or not the university's contractual relationship with the student allows it to demand this payment, the negative press is likely to cost it far more than 3000 euros.

Seeing proof that universities have no value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40568037)

This seems pretty clear the education industry world wide is a giant scam. They have created a system for only the purpose of obtaining money to line their pockets and not provide a service of any real value. Considering most college grads are lucky to get a job above the food services or mail room, this kid has either proven he is incredibly intelligent or proven the education he paid for was not worth the money or time, at least if you are everyone else who is handing loads of money to the schools and 4 to 6 years of time.

It is all a scam people, these professors and politicians just want money from either government taxes or student loans and they have dumbed down the education so much for the purpose of getting as many students in as they possibly can.

right on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40568411)

right on!

College is all about the piece of paper now days.

Huh, who knew? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40568215)

Universities are a money-grubbing business/cult just like scientology? But but but university is to teach you how to think! It's about learning and stuff!
Right....

Welcome to the real world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40568507)

>>> "Performance is supposed to be worth something," Pohl said.

But then again, I know a lot of kids that graduated early two or more semesters. Never herd of being sued for that.

FaIlzoRs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40568565)

In eTernity...Romeo
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