Can I sue a university?

University admission law / lawsuit for university places

The law firm Schmidt-Jochum advises and represents you comprehensively in the field of university law and in particular in lawsuits relating to university places.

What actually is a university admission lawsuit?

In order to receive a study place, you have to apply either directly to the university or via the ZVS, depending on the subject. To apply to the ZVS, you have to fill out an application for admission. This is available in the so-called "ZVS-Info". This is usually available in schools, but can also be requested from ZVS, 44128 Dortmund. The internet address is

The selection is based on the average Abitur grade and the waiting time. The exact distribution procedure is also explained in the ZVS-Info.

According to ZVS, everyone will theoretically get their desired study place at some point if they wait long enough. In the 2002/2003 winter semester, the ratio of places to applicants in the medical degree program was 1: 2.8, business administration 1: 2.4, psychology 1: 3.9 and veterinary medicine 1: 4.1. A waiting period of several semesters is not uncommon. In the 2003/2004 winter semester it happened that applicants who had been waiting for eight semesters were still unable to get a place.

In these cases, but also much earlier, it can make sense to bring an action for a university place. One or more universities are sued with the argument that they have not correctly calculated their capacities, i.e. the number of students they can accept, and that they can accept more students. Such a lawsuit has given many students their dream place at university. The cost of such a procedure is not very high considering the waiting time that can be saved.

It is likely that the number of applications for admission to the ZVS will increase again and with it the number of waiting semesters, which will worsen the study place situation. The university admission lawsuit is one possibility to think about.

How does a university admission lawsuit work?

In the case of a study place suit, the universities are sued directly, arguing that they are not using their full capacity. You can sue a single university or several. The more you sue, the greater the chances of getting the desired study place. How many you should sue depends on the subject. In the veterinary field there are only 5 universities nationwide, in the field of human medicine there are considerably more.

The proceedings are initially urgent, with which preliminary legal protection is sought. It is relatively rare to be assigned a place at the university directly. Most universities are obliged by the courts - if they have not exhausted their capacities - to admit additional students. These are then selected from all plaintiffs in a lottery. As a result, you get an additional chance to be admitted to the desired study place through the study place suit. The more universities you sue, the higher the chance of a university place.

If you have successfully sued your university place, the further procedure depends on the behavior of the university. Cases in which a temporary university place is denied are relatively rare.

How long does a university admission lawsuit last?

It is generally an urgent procedure. This means that the process should be completed quickly. Whether that is the case depends on the court. Some courts decide so quickly that you can start studying in the same semester. With others it takes a little longer, so that the semester may be lost and the course can only be started one semester later. (For courses that only start once a year, only in the next first semester).

When should I initiate the procedure?

At some universities, deadlines have to be met. These are on January 15th. for the summer semester or on July 15th for the winter semester. Otherwise, at the latest when you have received the notification of rejection from the ZVS. It is best to find out as early as possible if, based on your grade and waiting semester, you fear that you will not be admitted. An initial consultation costs you only 150, - €, which will be credited to you against a study place suit.

What does a university place lawsuit cost?

Initial consultation lump sum 150, - € (will be taken into account when applying for a place in the university)

The costs for a study place lawsuit start at 480, - € (1 university) plus. Legal costs and costs of the other party. It depends on the individual case.

We would be happy to provide you with a cost estimate for your specific case.