How the years have changed the course of studies

Everyone has heard the statement that everything was better in the old days. And that may certainly apply to some things. But is this “golden rule” also valid for your studies? This article sheds light on how education at German universities has changed in the last ten years. As you can see, however, a major cause of these changes is more than ten years ago. That is, no sharp lines can be drawn “in relation to the 10-year challenge”.

Historically unique

Probably the biggest change in student life occurred in 1999. We’re talking about the Bologna reform. This was signed by Germany and 28 other European countries; Today, 47 states are participating in this reform. The conversion of the university structures should create a Europe-wide higher education area, which guarantees the international comparability of the degrees and their mutual recognition abroad.

Note: For the Federal Republic of Germany, the unification of degrees in Europe meant primarily – but by no means exclusively – the conversion from the diploma and Magister system (also state examination) to the Bachelor and Master system.

There is no time for proper learning

One consequence of the Bologna reform for the German education system is the increased time pressure on students. If the curious have determined their course of study until the reform themselves, the study at the university is now divided into regular study periods: While the Bachelor’s degree usually six semesters are provided, the time for the subsequent Master’s program is four semesters. In order to meet this timeframe, which is hardly possible in any course of study, students must adhere to a strictly timed timetable. Thus, there is hardly time to dig deeper into interesting content. Much more is rushing through the winter semester and the summer semester. Finally, the BAföG will be reduced after a certain number of semesters; In some places, you even have to pay an additional tuition fee in addition to tuition fees. This can quickly ruin the already stupid student!

“A master was worth more”

The above-mentioned time pressure continues after life at the university. If the student has significantly exceeded his standard period of study, he can prepare himself for some unpleasant questions from the employer during the job interview. This requires answers and answers why the completion of the study has taken so long to come. From this many people think that they can draw conclusions about a person’s motivation.

It is fair to say that some of the students’ pressure is self-imposed: “The best way to complete internships and learn several languages ​​during the semester is to stay one step ahead of the competition. One could say that not a few students already during their studies compete for the favor of the future boss. Often, in this context, there is talk of an arms race for the best seats in society.

Classical student life does not exist anymore

“In the good old days” students had to provide much less evidence per semester than after the Bologna reform. Today, it must be felt that per- formance certificates are provided, so that the account is filled with credit points – almost every day, in addition to the events, chores, presentations, etc. on.

Interim conclusion: Since more evidence must be provided and the standard period of study is fixed, a true marathon at the German universities results. Another problem is that the modules overlap temporally in one semester. The fact that the coordination of the subjects is not relieved, probably everyone.

Because, in the past everything was better!

So much for changing the education system in Europe. However, the past ten (or more) years have not only made life more difficult for students. Quite the contrary: The advancing technology has opened up opportunities that meet the basic requirements for the successful completion of a master’s program, a doctorate or similar. improve. More about these now integral parts of academic life in the following sections.

The WWW as a lecturer

The biggest achievement in the early history of the college is the Internet. This is as important for students as for all persons in everyday life. This new medium is no longer indispensable in pedagogy and other sciences. This is already going on in the administration: Enrolling in a degree program is at most universities only online possible – over are the days with confusing application forms in which the applicant did not even know where to write their own address and where the study is. Likewise, professors make their documents available online, and while learning, Google is – casually expressed – the No. 1 contact.

If the number of study places is in an unbalanced relationship to the spatial capacities of a university, that is: if the lecture halls are crowded, many lecturers use the Internet to offer the students an online stream of the lecture. This makes it easy to retrieve the information from home. That was unthinkable before the 1990s, when the commercial phase of the Internet began!

Record 2.0

In close connection to the internet pen and paper are considered out in the lecture today. Instead, students access the notebook / tablet to make transcripts. The advantage is obvious: the transcripts are directly in readable (digital) form and do not have to be tapped after the event to serve as a learning tool.

Furthermore, many students write on a laptop simply faster than by hand. In addition, graphics etc. can be easily inserted and moved. Thus, the quality of your own learning materials is increased, apart from the automatic spelling check (this is essential for many to make a readable homework assignment).

At least as practical as the notebook / tablet is the smartphone. This not only serves to communicate with fellow students, but also enables a quick view of the cafeteria plan and the appointments scheduled for the day.

Another technological development that has not only simplified our everyday lives, but also student life, is online banking: pay the tuition for the next three months with just a few clicks – which is quite natural from today’s perspective, was hardly imaginable a few years ago.

Further university developments in the overview

The grade of the school graduation is no longer so decisive for whether one can study or not (keyword relaxed admission criteria).

In some states it is sufficient to graduate from a university of applied sciences in order to be admitted to the university.

The choice of study has become more difficult (increased supply and demand for study programs).

Many degree programs no longer start in winter, but alternatively in summer.

It has never been so easy to get a scholarship.

The grants from the state to finance the study (BAföG) have become more extensive.

All in all, it should be noted that university life has changed dramatically in the past (ten) years – whether positive or negative. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.

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