German students older but not wiser

December 8, 1995

Roman Herzog, Germany's Federal Chancellor, has spoken out in favour of drastic reforms in the country's higher education system. He wants to see study time shortened, more flexible course structures and a greater practical orientation of contents.

Speaking at a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen at Wurzburg University, Chancellor Herzog sharply criticised higher education in Germany, maintaining that it was "unacceptable that on average, German graduates are five years older than their other European competitors".

German graduates were highly qualified, but they were clearly lacking professional experience in comparison to foreigners of the same age.

Chancellor Herzog recommended a combination of the "excellent academic standards in Germany with the much more flexible Anglo-Saxon study course models".

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