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» When German Universities Were Models for American Universities from Atlantic Review
The New Yorker reviews Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University (Amazon.com, Amazon.de) by William Clark, a historian who has spent his academic career at both American and European universities. Clark thinks that the modern univ [Read More]

Comments

name

Actually, and as usual on this blog, quite the opposite is true. The new developments in the German higher education sector are quite clearly a case of decay. American "elite" unis are wholly owned business subsidiaries, ergo totalitarian institutions with zero freedom to do anything the sponsors didn't pay for. In Germany, the absence of tuition fees so far meant that a higher education depended only on the personal abilities. And I have never heard anything about the supposed mediocricity of either.

Very unfortunately, the politicians have decided to follow the Anglo model of giving only a tiny, hand-picked and rich elite the possibility of educating themselves. The masses are supposed to be dumbed down so they can be easily ruled over. Just like now over half of all Americans are functionally illiterate and incapable of rational thought, so as to make the monarchic/fascist pseudo-democracy possible.

David

@name,

You may want to send your interesting thoughts on the "fascist totalitarian" American universities to Prof. Noam Chomsky
c/o the Massachusetts Inst. of Technology

littleandy

The main problem with the modernisation of German university system, in my opinion, is the lack of scholarships. In the US, even poor people can study at one of the elite universities, as long as they are good enough. It's kind of fair, although some rich people don't have to be that good to study at a elite university.
If you start to charge tuition fees from students in Germany, many won't be able to afford studying, because they can't get a scholarship even though they're good enough.

name

I always thought a scholarship depended on your ability to play football. That should give the Germans quite a good chance, eh?

scott

Littleandy,

The proposed fees are only 500 euros (plus student fees that already exist). As far as I'm aware, Barvolk (spl?) still exists, which means that a mix of grants/loans are available to German students with need. German students also have structural advantages that American students don't have, such as publically funded housing and food (Mensas). In short, higher education will remain way, way cheaper in Germany than in America for a long time to come. Finally, scholarships exist in Germany, and will surely become more common as fees rise.

I sympathize with the spirit of egalitarianism behind name's initial comments, but the policy shift leading to elite universities seems correct and necessary. If it intends to compete on an international education market, Germany needs elite universities, and it needs to charge fees to improve education and weed out unmotivated students.

Economic necessity should not always trump social justice, but in this case it has to.

name

You meant to say Bafög aka Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz, lol. And I wasn't making any kind of "egalitarian" comment. The best example for successful free tuition are the scandinavian countries. Elitism however is one of many outdated and ultimately fatal illusions nurtured by the quasi-aristocracy in anglophone countries. In those countries "elite" mostly means the international level and derives from something of an inferiority complex, the well-known US-American one for example. We shouldn't need to take advice from semi-fascist countries like Australia where they will even raise your marks for cash.

name

and don't feel threatened by the "lol" either. With "Barvolk" you could have almost invented a new german word meaning people that don't mind paying another tax or something like that :)

Fry

"Name", what the hell are you smoking? Your ignorance of American universities is only trumped by your ability to conjure up retrograde quasi-Marxist fantasies. Following your model, Germany will be reduced to a pre-industrial society. Perhaps this is what you want. If so, I wish you lots of luck.

name

wow, "reduced to a pre-industrial society" that would make me "worse than Hitler" or some similarly demented anglo-fascist phrase :) You guys really think you're taking over the world ?

Fry

Actually, no. I think the Chinese are taking over the world. Anglo-fascism? Please. Wait to see what another twenty years of unregulated Asian capitalism combined with unreformed authoritarianism will produce. Don't worry, though. I'm sure your strategy of noncompetitive higher education will make Germany an economic superpower again.

littleandy

scott: I agree with you, that Germany needs Universities that can compete on the international market. You need those to stop the "brain drain" from Germany to other countries. But you talk about those 500 Euros - I think, these will only the beginning, and those tuition fees will raise, especially for the elite universities. And I'm not sure wether Bafög will cover those higher fees.
After all, in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, afaik, there are already fewer people studying since they charge the students.

name

"I think the Chinese are taking over the world."

Yup, thats the classic Fu Manchu syndrome in Anglo-Fascism. Wasn't it the evil Mooslams,or is that yesterdays propaganda now ?

Fry

It's amusing in the extreme to be accused of propaganda by someone who uses phrases like "Anglo-fascism" and "American monarchic/fascist pseudo-democracy" with (presumably) a straight face.

But you're right, I must concede.

1) Everything bad in the world is the predictable outcome of exploitation of the innocent masses by imperialist Anglo-American running dogs.
2) Everything good in the world is the carefully crafted product of years of careful labor by a grand alliance of enlightened European socialists and happy collectivized third-world laborers.
3) If we evil Americans would just stop our constant warmongering, the world would settle into a peaceful utopia.

I feel so much better now, thank you!

David

Speaking of the "German Brain Drain", check out this post on Atlantic Review:

http://atlanticreview.org/archives/456-Brain-Drain-German-YouTube-Founder-Enjoys-the-American-Dream.html

Jawed Karim left higher ed in Germany to study at Stanford and is now worth $Millions for his participation in the YouTube start-up.

name

Anglo-Fascism yes, with a straight face. Neo-Nazis with clean white shirts, cold-blooded racists and totally degraded individuals from a sick system.

Here are some of your boys who are going to be worth millions, too:

http://weazlsrevenge.blogspot.com/2006/10/sign-of-whats-next-to-come-our-boys.html

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