German College Drop out rate 30%?

Discussion in 'Education' started by Lil Mike, Aug 13, 2019.

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  1. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    Can't speak to the veracity of this post, but it's interesting...

    In Germany, free education leads to irrelevant courses, hopelessly overcrowded public universities, and a drop-out rate of about 30%

    From Wentorf, Roger Graves, a lecturer with 20 years of experience in Germany, testifies about an Economist article on Under-qualified Germans:

    Another reason for the lack of skilled labour in Germany is the reluctance of school-leavers to take advantage of the admirable dual-education system, and instead enroll at a university (“Opening up a crack”, May 18th). The problem is that every pupil who has passed the school-leaving exam, the Abitur, has the constitutional right to a place at university, even if he or she has to wait some semesters and has no real academic inclinations or talents. The result is a proliferation of abstruse and socially irrelevant courses, a drop-out rate of about 30% (a shocking waste of human and financial resources) and the lack of skilled workers you mentioned.
    Having spent 20 years as a lecturer, I can testify to the often poor quality of students at hopelessly overcrowded public universities and the high quality of those at private institutions, which have strict admission requirements. But in our modern, democratic society everybody is at least a manager and selection is frowned upon. That attitude is leading to big problems for the German economy.

    Frankly I thought that entrance into higher education in Germany was more competitive than this. Seems like the Germans might want to consider requiring higher entrance exam scores.
     
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  2. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    Our college dropout rate is at about 40%.
     
  3. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    USA! USA!
     
  4. Caligula

    Caligula Well-Known Member

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    That post is highly simplified and simplifying. Given the complexity of such a topic, that headline is just painful to read. Things are a lot more complicated than that message suggests. Germany has a highly differentiated school system and each of the sixteen states has a slightly different system which makes comparisons a bit difficult at times. The same is true for universities.
    Although I know that most of our 'merican friends are not really interested in details, let me try to shed some light on this.

    Around 52-53% of all school graduates have the abitur which qualifies them to attend university. The other half doesn't have the required degree and cannot attend uni. There are other options though, one would be the dual education system which is indeed highly regarded.
    Many unis have courses (human medicine, veterinary medicine, law, chemistry, etc.) that use the so-called numerus clausus, which means your average abitur grades have to be very high if you want to study these subjects. If you don't have these grades, you can't study this subject. Plus, many unis only accept a limited number of freshmen every year for certain subjects. The claim that everybody has a "the constitutional right to a place at university" is highly misleading.
    In addition to that, many unis require extra skills for certain subjects. If you want to study History or Political Science for example, unis very often demand academic language skills, English, a second modern language (often French, Spanish, or Russian), plus advanced Latin and old Greek if you want to focus on Ancient History. Even though there might not be the numerus clausus barrier, these language skills can be and often are a serious barrier. So on paper, a subject might be open for everybody to apply, in reality only those that meet the requirements have a realistic change.

    The claim of "overcrowded public universities" is also highly misleading and simplified. Subject A might be open to everybody at university X whereas university Y only accepts a strictly limited number of people for the same subject.
    This means some programs at some unis are overcrowded (often primary school teaching is one of them), others not. I've attended seminars with ten or twelve people, far from overcrowded. I had a professor who taught at a private university in North-Germany for quite a few years and she told us about the seemingly "high quality at private institutions." Again, that post is painfully simplifying.

    The drop out rate among bachelor students is around 30% at the moment. Some unis have started to make use of additional entrance tests and interviews to see if potential first semester students have the needed talent. Once people start their master program, the drop out rate falls dramatically.
     
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  5. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the clarification and the details, even though I'm just a 'merican.

    The post was implying that Universities were creating BS degree and class programs for those who didn't score high enough on the abitur to attend university. Are those expanding like they are in the US, to take advantage of the number of students who want to attend college but don't have the grades to get into legitimate fields of study?
     
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  6. Caligula

    Caligula Well-Known Member

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    You mean degrees in windsurfing or hoovering? No. A few years ago, I heard of some universities in Britain creating rather strange degrees in order to get more people to obtain some kind of degree no matter whether it might be useful or not, but I'm not really familiar with that. To my knowledge, these things don't exist in Germany, at least I've never heard of them.
    Everybody with an abitur has the official qualification to attend university. However, this does not mean that everybody can study anything. Universities have a lot of autonomy and regulations & requirements can vary significantly. So, Architecture in Berlin might use the numerus clausus barrier, meaning you would have to have very good abitur grades (usually around A or A minus). Architecture in Hamburg might not use the numerus clausus and average abitur grades will get you in, if there are enough free spots/places/vacancies (not sure what the best word would be here). As mentioned before, around 52-53% of all school graduates have the abitur (official qualification to attend uni), pretty much half of them don't go to university, which means only 25% of every cohort choose university education. The majority opt for one of the many alternatives.
     
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  7. tkolter

    tkolter Well-Known Member

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    I agree in most EU nations it seems entry standards can be higher than a typical American college if they aren't demanding. But 30% is still pretty high considering the vetting there is to get in. Attending in comparison if you enter MIT what is the drop out rate? From what I can find out and assuming for transfers to other schools its around10% but its guessing but many can move to majors like English there or enter not desiring a technology degree so that must be considered going from Engineering to Philosophy is possible for example or entering to major in Management. But most top schools will do there best to keep students in. So lack of preparation is more likely in less demanding schools I would think.

    But isn't 30% still a waste of money and time for the government since they are footing the bill in the USA that's not the case.
     
  8. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Banned Donor

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    One wonders if this has anything to do with the huge numbers of migrants that have come to Germany in recent years (particularly among the younger generation).
     
  9. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Donor

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    I wonder what the trade school dropout rate is... (I looked but did not find)
     
  10. VotreAltesse

    VotreAltesse Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    @Lil Mike In France, we have two kind of public universities. The fac (for faculté) which is more theory oriented and the one which is the most "open" and the BTS/DUT which are more technical and short formations. There is aswell diverse public schools for nurse, engineer. Basically, the "fac" tend to get a worse and worse reputation, especially for language teaching and globally every non hard science teaching. Sociology has especially the reputation of being a far left/unemployment schooling. I think that french public teaching has extremly strong fields, and extremly weak one (art, sociology). I'm not very far from the truth to says that the more unlikely you will get a job, the more likely the university is filled with far left students/teachers. Furthermore, during contest, it's likely that a fac will get blocked by the far left, the government will rarely react before a long time, and it will prevent the most poor students to attend their courses, sometimes because of rich far left kids.

    @kazenatsu If the situation is like the one in France, I don't think so and we have a lot of foreign students.
     
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  11. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    You definitely nailed it for the US as well in this statement, "I think that french public teaching has extremly strong fields, and extremly weak one (art, sociology). I'm not very far from the truth to says that the more unlikely you will get a job, the more likely the university is filled with far left students/teachers."
     
  12. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    If they do not have the primary education qualification, a equivalent to the Abitur, they can not enroll in a University.
    Around 45% of those refugees have found employment through the blue colour education system
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  13. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Banned Donor

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    Despite what some may think, apparently this does not have too much to do with the mass migration into Germany in recent years.

    "Only 5% of second generation Turkish immigrants in Germany attended higher education due to being placed in low school streams."
    (source here )

    However, when the country does eventually get around to addressing the higher education of its large second generation migrant population, you can be sure those dropout rates are going to start looking almost as bad as the U.S.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019

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