In the last weeks of 2009 Germany saw another wave of student protests against the disastrous educational policies of the government. Report on location.
Since 1993 government policies were trying to install tutelage fees for german universities, something extremely controversial, as the fees were low enough so as to cover only 1% of university expenses, but high enough to bar university attendance for poor(er) students.
There were many attempts on the part of different governments, but always student protests prevented the fees, until a couple of years ago when they were successfully installed along with a thorough reform of the university educational system to adhere to the decisions of the Bologna conference, like abolishment of the German Diplom study courses and replacement by the British Bachelor/Master system. Unfortunately, the reorganization was not well-planned, having deleterious effects on courses, universities and students. In many cases the workload of the 4-year-Diplom courses was just compressed into a 3-year Bachelor course.
This, coupled with the toll of the tutelage fees sparked a new wave of protests that reached until Christmas 2009 and took the form of demonstrations and occupations of universities. Here in Erlangen the students occupied the Auditorium Maximum of the university, installing swiftly a competent media center with live streaming video broadcast, organizing themselves thoroughly including cleaning duty, field kitchens, bringing all necessary equipment as well as furniture to be able to function in the Audi Max and give voice to their protest. We were on location on a Saturday and I was able to capture some of the aspects of the protesters’ life as an occupational revolutionary force with my trusted LC-A!