Let me clear things a bit up:
The course should be more of a "Introduction to Game Development" course. But without asset creation as time restrictions won't allow it. Aka. game engine components will be explained, but source code is not required (as long as information about the engine is available).
My university is a small university and they have no courses about game development whatsoever. My professor wants to change that and he has some experience with game development, but that was several years back. I should find a suitable engine for his course. The course setup itself is not completely planned yet. It contains game design and
game programming (basically students should get a first impression on how to create games from a computer science perspective).
With my thesis I should find a suitable engine for his course. And I have only 2 month time to complete it. Costs should be below $10,000 for 20 seats. (Yes and the cheaper, the better.....).
The benchmark is somewhat up to my choosing.
As for the initial requirements, i checked the mentioned engines from the Game Engine Survey 2011 (GDMag) to get a starting point (+ I added Panda 3D as full open source extension). The 2 second scoring above should not be renamed as a preferred feature list with weight and not as requirement:
Prelimary findings about licensing: