This is an excellent and insightful article from Spiegel. It’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, in my view. Check it out!
For me, the article raises a double-edged challenge.
Firstly, German policy-makers need to address the class barriers in German society which seem to give priority to children of educated, successful and privileged, parents. The article focuses on somewhat clumsy attempts by universities to help students from working class, less well educated backgrounds, adjust to the social challenges of life at a German university.
Secondly, German politicians are frequently, somewhat arrogantly recommending that European colleagues follow Germany’s example as Best Practice. Surely, Germany would benefit from learning from other European countries that have been more successful with policies of social mobility?
Researchers have called this effect the Great Gatesby Curve.
As I reflected on the wide-ranging problems for the current generation of young people in Europe, with youth unemployment in worst cases close to 60%, all seriously aggravated by German excessive zeal for austerity, I pondered the following open questions:
- Since the financial crash of 2008, has their been a reversal of social mobility in Europe?
- In austerity ravaged Europe, do the children of wealthy, educated, privileged families have an unfair advantage?
- How should policy-makers encourage greater social mobility in Europe?