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Berlin Senators Dispute University Budget Cuts

The fight over funding at Berlin universities heated up as Finance Senator Thilo Sarrazin countered Research Senator Thomas Flierl's assertion that restructuring should be left to the city's three universities themselves. Sarrazin told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper that he believes the city should reduce the replication of course offerings in an effort to trim budgets. Between Berlin and Potsdam, there are three universities offering law degrees -- and that is no longer feasible, Sarrazin said. By 2009, 75 million euros are due to be cut from university budgets. The Free University and Humboldt University have signed agreements about this with the city, but the Technical University is pushing for renewed negotiations.