Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Various reasons: the current university fees have thrown up a collective action problem. Other states can respond by starting to collect their own, or by upping the Numerus Clausus. Bremen and Hamburg collect fees for students who live outside of the states, which causes all kinds of misallocation (and seems like a class action lawsuit just waiting to happen, by the way).

State governance of higher education causes excessive dirigism (e.g. direct interventions in the curriculum of single universities for reasons of local industrial policy, or budget savings -- I've seen this happen in Berlin) which could be avoided if the federal government took over. It could be a liberalising measure in that sense.

Students, at least those whose parents have an above modal income (most) are highly and increasingly mobile at any rate. As evidenced by the increasing number enrolled in foreign universities. The state that educates them may not be the state that they work in two or four years afterwards. This will eventually cause a mismatch between spending and revenues.

On study fees - 3 states that have them are in the blue (out of 9) and 5 are in the yellow or red. Plenty of other issues with the map (at the height of the business cycle). But doing an investigation into spending on education would be worth the time and could clear up a 'yes it is' 'no it isn't' discussion. For a rainy day.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 04:27:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
5 are in the yellow or red.

I can't count (see below)...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 04:37:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is an advantage for states to attract students from other states. Often many of them stay where they study instead of going back to their home states. Bremen is too small to profit adequatly from that, but already Hamburg shouldn't suffer too much. Bremen is in general too small and shouldn't be a state on its own.
The extremely bad Bachelor/Master reform came from the federal (or even European) level. The curriculum will be checked by private for-profit organisations without people, who have any clue about the fields of research at the university.

Excessive dirigism is easier to bear, when every state focuses on its own fields. You then can go to the university that suits your wishes in a different state.

Budget issues are a priority issue. Why would the federal level spend sufficient amounts, when state authorities don't? Recently I read about the railway planning on the federal level. There is one bn or so spend every year and ideas for many dozen bn. But investment into railways, which is already a pet project of many politicians, has no chance to get sufficient spending, when the alternative is e.g. an out of order retirement increase (For next year a break in the "Riesterfaktor" is planned). On the state level there are less high profile social spending issues than on the federal level, where retirement spending or welfare spending has to be balanced with investment into the future.

The state that educates them may not be the state that they work in two or four years afterwards. This will eventually cause a mismatch between spending and revenues.
It is rather often. BW and Bavaria profit massively from students from the north (not unlike me and my two brothers), that stay there. After all these states don't have to pay for the school education any more.

The map was ment to show that there is overall no state vs. federal level issue, where the states are in more trouble.
But there are of course ways the federal level could contribute, I just don't see the big advantages. In recent years most changes didn't bring the improvement they promised. More students fail to get the bachelor, it has become more difficult to switch university inside Germany, the student fees are used to do things, that anyhow should have been done and students refuse to take the newly invented student loans but refrain from higher education instead. Pay reform for professors is mostly a cutting measure and the limitation of chaining time limited positions indefinitly has created unemployed scientists, that have no chance ever to get any public position unless they work in the meantime for free. The current federal minister for research is a theologian, before there was an English teacher, while the proud of many German universities is engineering. Just doing nothing seems to be very attractive to me.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 06:05:52 PM EST
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