I read a piece today from Yahoo Finance....over "free university" deals in Europe. It was kinda comical....they came to some point and suggested that America ought to offer the same deal....free college. They noted....Germany was already doing it.
I sat there....mostly laughing. There's some differences between the US and Germany on college.
First, NO German university has any NCAA-related action. No football...no million-dollar coaches...no massive sports complex....no alumni program...no volleyball team for ladies sports...no softball program.
Second, if you screwed around and played drinking games all the way through your first semester...they’d invite you to leave, and you would not find much sympathy with a second chance. Party schools in Germany? None. Forget about that angle.
Third, German university programs don’t have a bunch of support staffs with imaginary job descriptions and ample incomes. A German university likely functions with half the staffs that most US colleges have.
Fourth, towns around the university programs in Germany have a high value on the students...mostly because they go to recruit them to sign up as residents of the town....getting to the 100k, 200k, or 300k level....which means more handouts from the national government. This relationship to the town, makes the university a pull partner of the local city and of value. Most cities run more transit buses through a university district...subways are added...and they are part of the local community.
Fifth. Cops who protect the German university...are city cops or state cops. There are no hired thugs or wannabe cops patrolling a German university, nor is the cost dumped onto the college. Nor are the legal proceedings separate. If you do something stupid on a German campus...you get a city judge, and the DA after you....so you don’t have to worry about getting expelled....you get actual real jail-time, with no campus lawyer helping you.
Sixth and final, all these instructors and professors are part of a national level of pensions and benefits. Some guy is watching the whole trend, and ensuring that stupid individual university administrators aren’t lining up some guy for a $300k a year pension deal. If some German governor woke up tomorrow and got wind that some professor in his state is about to retire and get more monthly income than his job....someone would be dragged to the state capital and be asked some pretty difficult questions, and it wouldn’t be a pleasing situation.
They can offer free tuition...the question is....would US university programs be willing to offer the same deal? My guess is...NO. I should point it....it generally takes 4.5 to 5 years to get a bachelor’s degree in Germany. And it’s around seven years if you count in the master’s degree.
I should also note....they also don’t run up bogus ethnic studies degrees, how-to-feel-good physic 116 classes, or Bigfoot studies courses. Got a professor who gets into trouble with some student for relationship woes? They turn the evidence to a state prosecutor and let him handle the mess from that point on...no worries for the university in terms of legal issues.