German Lessons

What The U.S. Can Learn About Education From Germany

Around the world, the cost of college is on the rise.

German universities are global outliers. Instead of raising tuition and fees, they're charging students nothing.

WGBH News' higher education desk, On Campus, reports from Germany to see how public universities are controlling costs and trying to maintain quality.

Along the Rhine, we learn how Germany aligns curriculum with workforce demands; tracks young people into blue- and white-collar jobs; and attracts international students, including price-conscious Americans.

Part 1
A statue of Albertus Magnus in Cologne.

Lessons For America: How German Higher Ed Controls Costs

In Germany, taxpayers fully subsidize college. To understand how German universities keep costs down and quality up, we began in the medieval city of Cologne.


Part 2
Jay Malone is capitalizing on Germany's push to recruit international students by helping Americans who want to study there.

What Do German Colleges Offer That America Can’t Match?

More American students are choosing to go to college in Germany. But at what expense to U.S. global growth?


Part 3
Roger Heps is in his final year of on-the-job training at Bayer as part Germany's vocational education system.

Stigmatized In America, ‘Blue-Collar’ Aristocrats Thrive In Germany

While American companies complain graduates don’t have the skills they need, Germany’s vocational system is partnering with employers to train students on the job. As a result, youth unemployment hovers around 8 percent. So why haven’t apprenticeships taken hold in the States?


Part 4
Students in the fourth grade at an elementary school in Essen, Germany (Mallory Noe-Payne/WGBH).

Aptitude And Ability: Why Germany Is Better Than The U.S. In Channeling Talent

Germany uses a tracking system based on aptitude and ability that sends students to one of three types of higher education: vocational, technical or university. Does tracking result in better employment and job satisfaction?