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June 18, 2005



Many of us have vacationed in Europe. I, myself, have been to Munich, Frankfurt, Nurnberg, Cologne, and many small villages in these areas. Americans cannot possibly assess the problems with the system in Germany based upon this sort of visit. Without exception, the Germans that I correspond with, acknowledge that the economy there is at a tipping point, and the golden blend of our system and theirs must be found in Germany. There is currently talk in Germany about instituting tuition-based university programs. Many German students realize that their educational system could be improved if it were a sort of a value-based commodity, but are unable to see the forest through the trees. One student actually indicated that she understands the value of such a system, but is not willing to take out a loan for college tuition, because everybody knows that jobs are so hard to find in Germany, and how would she repay the loan?


The problem is the combination of problems:
- burned-out education system
- high wage low performance lower
- immigrants on social welfare
- blocking institutions (unions,
federal states..)
- rising competition of new entrant
EU states

Funny, now the left starts a debate on “Fremdarbeiter” – foreign workers – up to now a far right wing topic.

Jürgen Hubert

There are a couple of problems with introducing tuiton fees:

- The money would likely just be used to patch holes in other parts of the state budgets instead of benefitting the universities.

- There is no real good stipend system out there that might help poor students.

- Their lack is one of the few advantages German universities have when attracting international students. I strongly suspect that most international students would jump ship to English-speaking countries if tuiton fees were introduced...

- Finally, it would constrain upwards social mobility in Germany - and while upwards social mobility in Germany is bad, at least it is not as bad as in the USA yet.

I'm from a working-class family, and I am sure I would have thought twice before studying if it had cost me €500 per semester...

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