The increasing appearance of fee financed education offers in higher education result in a power shift from higher education institutions in Germany to their students. Thus, for example, students claim more involvement in university decision processes and the right to evaluate lecturers’ teaching skills. This paper is dealing with the development of student rights. It describes the students’ position at universities under higher education policy aspects. A closer look on the rights and duties of students gives an idea of their options to influence civil and structural engineering education. Furthermore, advantages and disadvantages of the increasing influence of students on universities’ decision making processes were examined. That issue is especially discussed under the perspective of the influence on civil and structural engineering education. The conclusion is that an increasing influence of students and customer orientation at universities may influence the working atmosphere at higher education institutions both in a positive as well as in a negative way. Sometimes students have inventive ideas but often they are not able to overview all aspects of university life. Universities must master the balance between the educational standards of a higher education institution and the increasing demands to involve students in institutional decision making processes.
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