Thousands of students took to the streets across Germany, complaining about an education system they say is underfunded and unfair. Protest organisers claimed a quarter of a million students marched in some 80 towns and cities; police said about half that number took part. The main complaints are lack of money and choice.
The protests come as Germany prepares for a general election in September, and students hope to spark a nationwide debate about the future of higher education. Tuition fees are also a bone of contention. Around half of Germany’s states allow universities to charge fees, but most choose not to leaving the system chronically short of cash. Many of the banners demanded greater state funding, after the government found money to bail out ailing banks and car companies. Ministers insisted German education standards have risen in recent years.