Mandatory attendance is a matter for the universities

15. June 2016

The question whether attendance of courses and lectures is an absolute necessity can only be answered by the universities themselves. Consequently, it would be inappropriate to legislate on this issue. This was pointed out by the Senate of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) in Berlin today.

These leaders in higher education are concerned about draft higher education legislation discussed in recent years (in Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein) impinging on universities’ autonomy in this respect. For example, revisions of the respective legislation are currently being prepared in the Saarland and Thuringia. By no means should comparable regulations be included here.

“Appropriate, differentiated regulations are required at universities,” said HRK President, Prof. Dr. Horst Hippler, after the meeting of the Senate. “They are aware of the fact that attendance should only be mandatory where necessary for successful learning. Whether this is the case can only be derived from discussions with students. But when legislators attempt to create universally applicable regulations in this regard, it only causes uncertainty at the universities or highly detailed rules on implementation. Neither serves the purpose of ensuring the quality of the course of study.”