Educational location Germany: Between claim and reality


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There is a lack of space in Germany's lecture halls. This situation is not new, but it is getting worse. This presents universities with a major challenge that they do not seem to be prepared for.

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Frank Heinrich 96Frank Heinrich, head of the Stensington Academy, was, among others, director of the European Media Academy, company spokesman for SAT1 and adviser to the Prime Minister of Luxembourg.

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University pact against the educational emergency?

As early as 2007, the federal and state governments decided on a higher education pact until 2010 with regard to the dual Abitur cohorts in various federal states. However, the situation has worsened since then.

For the large number of new students, additional space must be created in the lecture halls, seminar rooms and libraries. A further improvement to the approved funds is therefore necessary - and nothing new for a long time.

Obligatory nationality

In June 2009, the federal and state governments agreed to continue the pact until 2015. Additional funds of 3,2 billion euros were made available, which were later increased again to a total of 5 billion euros. An enormous sum.

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At this point it must be permissible to ask whether the federal states have used the funds made available to them adequately at all. There are doubts about this in any case. In the first phase between 2007 and 2010, many countries acted rather cautiously. Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg even have to pay back committed funds amounting to 600 million euros.

Criticism at the university pact

Experts therefore criticize the structure of the pact. For the money of the federation does not flow directly to the universities, but first to the finance ministries of the individual federal states. How much money is actually made available for teaching remains difficult to understand.

Particularly in view of the fact that many of the Länder are constantly reducing their university level. Logically, this does not appear to be cautious. An obligation on the part of the Länder would be desirable at this point.

Situation for master students is growing

The leaders of the situation are the students and the educational center Germany as a whole. He runs the risk of noticeably losing quality. Especially for the group of Master students, the situation is intensifying in the coming years.

According to a current model calculation by the Center for Higher Education Development (CHE), the need for master study places will increase significantly in the future. To date, significantly more undergraduate students are aiming at a higher degree than calculated.

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Horror scenarios for the future

In their calculations, the experts design three different scenarios: What happens if every second, a good two-thirds or even 85 percent of the bachelor's graduates want to take a master's degree?

With the cautious assumption that only every second Bachelor student directly follows a Master’s degree, the federal and state governments have to be prepared for significantly higher numbers of Master’s students. But there are already so many places missing that many Bachelor's graduates have to forego a Master's degree at state universities.

Solutions on the pulse of the time

Certainly, it must be stressed at this point that it is merely a model calculation. There are a number of external factors that influence this. This includes, for example, the economic development.

The job market could induce many Bachelor graduates to jump straight into working life instead of continuing their studies. In addition, the expansion of further education Master’s courses alongside the job is certainly another way of at least stretching the increasing demand for Master’s study places.

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  1. Russell

    Thank you, really very nice and detailed article. And once again perfect in time.

  2. Daniela Reutlinger

    With everything that goes wrong in Germany, it is no wonder that more and more highly qualified people are leaving. Nevertheless, I find your efforts to inform your readers admirable.

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