Feudalism, a.d. 2003 Dorothee Meer

Feudalism, a.d. 2003 Dorothee Meer describes the way German students and their professors interact in Spiegel Online today. She’s right to assert that their relationship is rarely a healthy one for the students who almost never get the feeling to talk to someone who respects them as a fellow, albeit less advanced, scholar. Although such generalisations are not fair to many professors – some of which I had the pleasure to learn from – I also had similar experiences in Germany – but not even once at my French Ecole or at the LSE. I believe that this tendency of professoral condescendence is mainly a consequence of lack of pre-selection at German universities and of the fact that professors do not have to be nice to students for the simple fact that they don’t pay for their education – the ministery of education does. Professors do not always treat students condescendingly, but as opposed to students in other countries who – due to the difficulty of getting into a specific university – get the intellectual benefit of the doubt and are direct clients of the teacher, students at German universities don’t and aren’t.