Time to revamp the German Abitur?

In an op-ed in Der Tagesspiegel, Klaus Hurrelmann outlines problems with the current university qualifying system.

In an opinion piece in German daily Der Tagesspiegel on 2 July 2020, Hertie School Professor of Public Health and Education Klaus Hurrelmann and co-author Dieter Dohmen, Director of the Research Institute for the Economics of Education and Social Affairs says Germany's Abitur, the school leaving exams to qualify for university, needs to be overhauled. "The system of evaluating the Abitur performance is so unequal from state to state and in some cases from school to school that the final certificates are not even remotely comparable," they write. "We need a radical reform of the Abitur and university admission rules in Germany. Today's Abi mode leads to unfair and incomparable results, and it also fundamentally fails to meet the qualification requirements of the 21st century."

They name two key reasons for this: First, the Abi examination gives students a legal right to study. But the rules for achievements and the assessment of examinations differ from state to state and in some cases from school to school to such an extent that there is no real comparability.

Second, those who complete Abitur lean toward attending university. This may lead to an ever larger share of vocational training being shifted to universities, thus dismantling Germany's traditional concept of dual vocational training with its emphasis on practical and applied qualifications linked to industry.

The authors offer several solutions to this issue.

Read the full article in Der Tagesspiegel (in German).

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