Saturday, July 07, 2012

Graduating Too Fast?

Student Studying

Strange story from Mike Masnick – University Sues Student For Graduating Too Fast:

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.

The university feels ripped off? That's a first, usually it's the student who feels that way. This story also makes me cringe, as it highlights a shift from students we serve to FTEs we need to make our budgets. It says something that the student could pass the required exams by reviewing class notes – must have been good notes. Maybe it's time to update the exams?

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