• Germany edition
 
Germany 'fails to level educational playing field'
Photo: DPA

Germany 'fails to level educational playing field'

Published: 11 Sep 2012 07:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Sep 2012 07:13 GMT+02:00

German children from well-educated families are six times as likely to go to university as those from low education backgrounds, despite decades of trying to level the playing field.

One expert spoke of a “fear of advancement” which needs to be tackled, when commenting on the long-term education survey conducted by the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research – commissioned by the Vodafone Foundation.

The study spoke of university entry still being socially selective, with children whose parents were graduates being much more likely to enter tertiary education than their peers whose parents never went.

Study author Steffen Schindler said the unfairness began at the Abitur, or A-level, stage when children from well-educated families were seven times as likely to take it and pass than those from poorly educated families.

He worked with statistics from the last decade, creating what he said was the biggest data analysis of the situation in Germany.

Far more working class children were attending tertiary education now than in the 1970s and 1980s, but most of them were going to technical college or specific professional schools.

The expansion of the grammar school system had not increased opportunities for children from poorly educated families, the study suggested.

“We need initiatives which remove the fear of advancement from these socially disadvantaged young people,” said Mark Speich, manager of the Vodafone Foundation.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

09:16 September 11, 2012 by smart2012
School system has a huge weakness, ie decision if a kid can go to uni is made when kid is 13. This has been designed to keep low educated foreigners away from top positions (at 13 most of them still do not speak perfectly German as at home they speak the relatives language -which actually it is an advantage).

This is known by all, that is why all my colleagues send kids at international schools.
09:24 September 11, 2012 by murka
Problem #1: German schools are good at testing, but not good at teaching. So, only those pupils with a support from parents are going to succeed.

Problem #2: When finishing the ground school with low marks (because your parents didn't help you, see above) you received a "recommendation" to a labor oriented school. I guess this "recommendation" is still compulsory at least in Bavaria.

Sure, smart kids can switch back, but it does not work on large numbers.
10:23 September 11, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Whats the problem? Germany needs painters, plumbers, construction workers, truck drivers and all the rest. Higher education should be reserved for those that appreciate it.
14:02 September 11, 2012 by jg.
It is obviously time to follow the social engineering of the UK: allow all higher educational institutions to call themselves universities and issue degrees. Weed out any tricky content from the school curriculum such that everyone gets A grades. This way everyone gets to go to university, regardless of their background (or ability) and nobody is left behind. There is a slight downside in that you end up with a load of university graduates who cannot complete a sentence and are mostly unemployable but at least everyone is equal. Hooray for socialism!
14:12 September 11, 2012 by lucksi
Well, duh. For example, if there isn't a single book in the house and when the only printed material is the Bild "newspaper"; the chances of a kid going to higher education is very slim indeed.
17:02 September 11, 2012 by Englishted
It is not education of the parents as such ,it is wealth and it will be getting worse as the gap between the haves and the have nots increases year on year in the "developed " west.
17:36 September 11, 2012 by wolfgang60
Haves and the have nots can study in university here in Germany as long as you qualify the criteria.In other countries university is expensive not free so either you have money or bank loan then you can access university.
22:22 September 11, 2012 by Staticjumper
This study shows a firm grasp of the obvious. The cold, hard, politically incorrect truth is that parents are going to pass on both nature and nurture to their kids. Intelligent, well-educated parents are more likely to pass on both the aptitude for learning and a greater respect for hard work and education than less adept parents who place more value on immediate gratification and take a more leisurely approach to occupational pursuits. And exactly how is university "socially selective" rather than academically selective? Are admissions based on who a student's friends and family are or do they earn admission through grades and testing?
Today's headlines
German ladies net Fed Cup final appearance
Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates her victory over Australia's Sam Stosur with teammates after their match in the Fed Cup semi-final. AFP Photo: Patrick Hamilton

German ladies net Fed Cup final appearance

Angelique Kerber put Germany into their first Fed Cup final in 22 years with a fighting victory over Australia's Samantha Stosur in the semi-final in Brisbane on Sunday. READ () »

Germany should make use of shale gas: EU
EU commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger pictured in Luxembourg in 2013. AFP Photo: Georges Gobet

Germany should make use of shale gas: EU

EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger has urged Germany to make use of shale gas options and added that the he saw no danger of Europe's access to Russian gas falling victim to possible economic sanctions in the standoff over Ukraine. READ () »

Tennis aces close in on Fed Cup final
Members of the German Fed Cup Team celebrate after an earlier victory in the tournament. Photo: DPA

Tennis aces close in on Fed Cup final

Germany took hold of their Fed Cup semi-final on Saturday, winning both the opening day singles to lead Australia 2-0 in Brisbane. READ () »

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradited a former Yugoslav spy chief, Zdravko Mustac, to Germany on Thursday to face charges for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil. READ () »

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years
An officer of the Lower Saxon Criminal Investigation Department (CID) securing evidence on the hijacked ship Marida Marguerite. Photo: DPA

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years

A German court has sentenced a Somali pirate chief to 12 years in jail for hijacking a ship off the Horn of Africa and tormenting its crew during an eight-month ordeal. READ () »

New app helps clients find prostitutes
Photo: DPA

New app helps clients find prostitutes

While the German government is considering tightening prostitution laws, Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app to connect sex-workers with clients. READ () »

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, according to forecasters. READ () »

Berlin man must call himself a mother
The fight over the transgender man's right to be his child's official father has been raging since last year. Photo: DPA

Berlin man must call himself a mother

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth in March 2013 must be registered as the child's mother, a court has ruled after his year-long court battle to be named a father. READ () »

Study: rape convictions fall sharply
Photo: DPA

Study: rape convictions fall sharply

The chance of being convicted of rape in Germany has more than halved in the past two decades to fewer than one in ten, a major study revealed on Thursday. READ () »

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
The tax privilege for investment income is unfair, says the SPD. Photo: DPA

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,056
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd