GERMANY: Students paid bribes for PhDs

German prosecutors are investigating over 100 senior academics at a dozen of the country's top universities on suspicion that they awarded doctorates to hundreds of mediocre or unqualified students after taking bribes from a firm of educational consultants, writes Tony Paterson for The Independent.

State prosecutors in Cologne said the students paid between Euros 4,000 and 20,000 to the academics after being told by the consultancy firm that the money would go a "long way" to ensuring that their doctorates "were in the bag".

The investigation follows a raid on the premises of the Cologne-based Institute for Scientific Counselling last year in which hundreds of company files were confiscated by police. The company has since closed down but Günther Feld, the Cologne state prosecutor, said the documents had produced incriminating evidence against academics, who were now being investigated. Academics at universities including Frankfurt, Berlin, Tübingen, Hamburg and Leipzig were said to have been involved in the bribery scandal.
Full report on The Independent site

See also:
The Associated Press: Germany expands probe into PhD bribe scheme
Spiegel: Germany rocked by allegations of PhD bribes