University Sues Student For Graduating Too Fast
from the don't-expect-an-alumni-gift dept
Here’s an odd one. The School of Economics and Management in Essen, Germany is suing former student, Marcel Pohl, for graduating too quickly. You see, he finished all of the necessary exams for both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 20 months — representing three semesters. Normally, it takes students 11 semesters, and the school feels ripped off. The complaint is that, even though they charge per semester, what they’re really charging for is the degree, and Pohl didn’t pay enough for his. So they want another €3,000.
Of course, in the details, we learn that part of the reason he was able to take so many exams is that he teamed up with two friends and they all traded notes on classes they didn’t actually attend. You can question whether or not that meets academic ethics requirements, but the fact is that Pohl still did pass the required exams, and met all of the qualifications to graduate — and the University apparently let him graduate before it realized what happened. It’s hard to see what the legal issue is here. Perhaps instead of suing, they should look at their own setup and question why they force students to spend 11 semesters on material when at least some can get through it all in about a quarter of the time…
In the meantime, was there really no one at the school who didn’t think that the cost of legal fees and negative publicity combined is very likely to exceed the money they’re seeking?