The Decline of German Universities

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  12 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5272, pp. 172-174
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5272.172


Bonn—The state of Germany's universities has suddenly become big news. They are underfunded and overcrowded; curricula are poorly organized; years of stagnant budgets has left them with decaying buildings and equipment; and the prospect of yet more draconian cuts means that the best staff and students are going elsewhere. Most believe the blame lies with the universities' own cumbersome bureaucracies and overbearing local government regulation which stifles reform. But this year there are signs of movement: Faculty and students have joined in mass demonstrations in Berlin and Leipzig against budget cuts, and some German states are starting the long road to reform, giving universities more autonomy, but demanding more quality too.