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In Brief

GERMANY The end of the East-West divide is beginning to pay dividends for students in the former front-line state. As part of its policy of cutting to the bone the national defence budget, Bonn is to make available empty military properties to universities at knock-down prices. The federal government plans to sell them to the individual states in which they are situated at 50 per cent of their market value.

Additional government subsidies mean that the land and disused buildings will be available for one-quarter of their real private-sector worth. But Chancellor Kohl's coalition administration should still raise about 330 million Deutschmarks (Pounds 145m) from the sell-off.

Parents' complaints have led the Bavarian education ministry to review its practice of allowing individual schools to select two public holidays of its own each year to take account of local festivals.

It has caused confusion for some families whose children attend different schools and with teachers who work at several schools.

For the sake of simplicity, the Bavarian authorities are now considering whether these "movable days off" should be abolished.

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