“No one shall be discriminated against or favoured by reason of sex, descent, race, language, homeland and origin, faith, religious or political views.” (Article 3, Paragraph 3, Basic Law).
We, students and young people as well as committed and politically active, reject the initiative of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science to reintroduce study fees. Baden-Württemberg’s “Green Party” Science Minister Theresia Bauer plans to introduce study fees for international students. Non-EU citizens for a study course in Baden-Württemberg will pay 1,000 to 2,000 euros per semester, the amount for all other students will increase by 10 € and a second study will cost 650 euros per semester in the future. This measure is justified by the fact that the ministry should save 48 million euros in order to achieve a “black zero”. So far, there has been no public debate on the concrete considerations. Students were neither asked nor involved, even though they have their own representation.
This intention is fatal for a just education on several levels. Education in and of itself is a fundamental right and must be open to all. Therefore, in addition to the universities, all other educational paths should be free (master * in, technician * in, and any training). It is not the individual’s own abilities (or that of the parents) that should be decisive for the education, but the interest.
Not the too popular trainings should be restricted in access, but the too little popular make attractive. The reintroduction of study fees is diametrically opposed to this. Instead of ensuring a solidarity financing of the next generation, this is also supposed to pay. Education is thus degraded to commodity and privilege, although education is the basis of every democratic and open society. This should be deeply repugnant to every human being.
The demand that “non-EU citizens” should pay is discriminatory. No man is responsible for the citizenship he receives at birth. To use this as a criterion to demand money for a study serves only one purpose: to bring those with money into the country and keep all others away. This demand is not only opposed to human rights, but also to our own basic law. Article 13 of the United Nations Social Pact, ratified by Germany, even warns that financial hurdles to access to education must not be increased, but must be permanently removed.
Equal opportunities for education, regardless of parents’ origin and pay- ability, are one of the great goals we must strive for a just and democratic society.
Furthermore, it is absurd to oblige people who start a second degree to pay. A second degree program is designed to further educate oneself and expand their own competencies. Especially in times of the information society it would be fatal to take this opportunity for people for financial reasons. This also includes the above-mentioned reasons as well as the hard-won right to free development of the personality, which is also anchored in the General Law. If we want all of us to develop freely, we must not put any additional obstacles in the way of a second degree!
10 Euro more in the semester may not sound like much at first glance, but if this is added to the current contribution to the semester, which is already increasing annually due to “increased administrative expenses”, people already come to considerable sums paid by students to the university / university. With these 10 euros will not stay. Further increases as soon as fees are decided are guaranteed. It will not be long before we return to study fees of several hundred euros for all students.
Study fees undermine all efforts to create equality opportunities in education - an area where Germany has a lot of catching up to do. The fact that these demands come from the party, which has profoundly profited from the protests against study fees, can hardly be surpassed in cynicism.
To put the whole thing under the pretext of the “black zero” and the alleged constraints is hardly to be surpassed in audacity. The austerity policy, which is behind the “black zero”, is both economic madness and the self-determination of the parliaments. Governments must invest and compensate for economic downturns. Instead of using this “constraint” as a justification for elitist measures, it would be time for the Greens to break through the logic of disaster and look for solidarity methods of funding; there are plenty of suggestions.
The formation of all human beings is the criterion which determines our future. Let us not destroy it ourselves. For a state full financing of education, open access for all and against any attempt to make education degenerate!
Signatory * inside:
Bundesverband ausländischer Studierender (BAS)
Arbeitskreis Freie Bildung
Aktionsbündnis gegen Studiengebühren (ABS)
AStA der Hochschule Mannheim
Verfasste Studierendenschaft der Hochschule Biberach
Verfassten Studierendenschaft der Universität Konstanz
StuRa Uni Freiburg
Offene Uni Heidelberg
DIE LINKE: Baden-Württemberg
Linksjugend ['solid] Baden-Württemberg
Die Linke.SDS Karlsruhe
Jennifer Sarro, Sprecherin für politische Bildung, Verfasste Studierendenschaft der PH Freiburg
Laura Halding-Hoppenheit, SÖS-LINKE-PluS
(As of 11th October, 2016)