HANDS OFF STUDENT RIGHTS: Campaign Against Forced Exmatriculation

Demonstration: Rotes Rathaus, Tuesday 26th March, midday


The Berlin Senate plans to tighten the Higher Education Act, despite widespread opposition from the student body. The introduction of forced exmatriculation as a disciplinary measure, outlined in the proposed Paragraph 16, not only marks a return to pre-2021 disciplinary regulations, comparable to other federal states, but represents a significant escalation with far-reaching encroachments on the freedom of students. Originally introduced in the context of the 1968 movement, disciplinary regulations were aimed at suppressing protests and student politicization. Now, this repressive instrument is being resurrected by the governing parties CDU and SPD, instigated by the far-right AFD. Given the political shift to the right and the constriction of critical voices, this development is extremely concerning.

The proposed law includes a range of disciplinary measures, from mild warnings to expulsion. The severity of the penalty is determined by a disciplinary committee whose composition, procedures, and transparency are not stipulated by law. The vague criteria and discretionary power of the disciplinary committee could lead to severe consequences for minor violations, such as hanging posters or disrupting classes. While the Senate claims these measures aim to protect students, discrimination is not punishable by exmatriculation among the listed offenses. With this symbolic policy, the government coalition is unmistakably signaling opposition to a politicized and democratic university, opening the door to discrimination against marginalized and/or dissenting students. We condemn this course of action and demand the retraction of the proposed measures.

We recognize that these disciplinary regulations will affect us all, regardless of our political activities as students: from educational strikes to climate protests, event disruptions, and the public denouncement of right-wing or abusive professors, as well as solidarity with Palestine. The threat of expulsion not only puts freedom of expression at risk, but also jeopardizes the safety of many, especially international students. It threatens not only our academic careers but also our livelihoods, jobs, residences, and visa statuses in Germany. The climate of fear and intimidation created by the mere possibility of expulsion is an attempt to intimidate politically active students. 

Support our campaign against forced exmatriculation: Hands off student rights and come to our Protest on Tuesday the 26.03. at 12:00 infront of the Rote Rathaus!