Read, James M.
Present status of universities, pp. 25-26 PDF (1.3 MB)
(although only one Englishman' was on the commission together with 11 German), then why is not an exclusively German commission set up to assess the situation? Ameri- can higher education certainly derived great benefits from the work of the President's Commission on Higher Education which issued its report in 1949. NE OF THE BASIC SUGGESTIONS advanced in the O Gutachten wads the series of recommendations de- signed to bridge the gulf between university and the public. The gulf is large at the present time; the academic island is surrounded by an oversized protective moat and the drawbridges do not come, down. Learning is with- drawn into cloisters as it w~als during the middle ages, a process which the earliest universities served to combat from their very birth in the 13th century. Academic freedom is an admirable part of our cultural heritage, but in a democracy the professors and scholars must have contact with the intelligent and sensitive leaders olf the community. The Gutachten suggested the establishment of a university council and a board of trustees. If such councils were established, with real powers, they might indeed encroach on some of the duties of the overworked Kulturministers (cultural ministers) as well as on the complete autonomy of the faculties. But the interests of the public would be better preserved, to the benefit of all. Such representation from the public would probably insist that something be done about one of the most serious charges of all that is leveled at the German Hoch- schulen, that of over-specialization. And here I arrive at my third conclusion: the need for more general educa- tion. The basic idea of a liberal education, designed to bring to full self-development the really free man, has been lost sight of. The universities are producing only the specialist, the Fachmann. And this is at a time when as in no other the well-rounded, civic-minded citizen and sicholar is needeid. I do not want to leave the impression that I consider this an exclusively German problem. It is European! and American. But a counter-move has set in with us and made the introduction of the studium generate (general studies) in one form or another a matter of general con- cern affecting almost all of our institutions of higher learning. One of the most notable products of this trend was the report of a committee of scholars set up by Harvard University, entitled General Education in a Free Society, which has been translated into German under the title Allgemeinbildung in einem freien Volk (General Education for Free People). You can get a copy of this at any US Information Center. I recommend it highly. R ELATED TO THIS LACK of general education is also the underdevelopment of the social sciences in general at the German universities. Sociology, anthro- pology, political science have been neglected fields of research and teaching. A proper studium generate is dif- ficult to achieve as lonig as these all-important branches of study in human relations are neglected. And so we have these three problems: The attitude of the faculties, the contact with the public, the need for INFORMATION BULLETIN general education. They are obviously interrelated. It there were a more direct relationship to the community around them the faculties would be forced to be more aware of the demands of modern times, and they would certainly answer the needs of the community for more general education. I hasten to add that I am not ignorant of certain begin- nin,gs in these directions. At several universities advisory councils have been establiished,'for instance, in Freiburg and Hamburg. At the Technical University of Karlsruhe a broadened senate is to take over the functions of such a council. Several universities have set aside one day as a dius academicus (day of learning) for general lectur- ers. Several of the universities have also now set up chairs of political and social science. Heidelberg has now entered into arrangements with certain 'schools of adult education whereby the professors do not appear only to hold a lecture and then disappear as rapidly as possible, but where they devote a whole evening to discussion with the students. In Tuebingen the Leibniz College has been founded, a wonderful attempt to combine the studium generate with student community life. May these examples and beginnings be increased soon and successfully. Then we would not have to, be disturbed at the threatened return of medieval social forms like the fighting fraternities at the German universities or the obscuration that comes from blind allegiance to tradition. The cycle of 150 years ago where cultural and scientific leadership of the world was assumed by the German Hochschulen might be repeated. +END Bavaria Receives Two IRO Hospitals The International Refugee Organization (IRO) has turned over to German administration two IRO sana- toriums for tubercular refugees at Gauting and Amberg in Bavaria. Included in the transfer is a DM 2,000,000 ($476,000) grant to convert Gauting into one of Europe's largest tuberculosis hospitals. The United Nations-sponsored agency's announcement stated that the agreement will assure adult IRO refugees the same hospital care which the agency has furnished to more than 10,000 tubercular DP's in the US Zone of Germany during the past four years Under the program to be operated by the Bavarian state insurance administration (LVA), Gauting's bed capacity will be increased from 850 to 1,150. The former German Army hospital, leased by LVA for 50 years, will receive sufficient funds from the Bavarian Ministry of Finance to cover operating costs and give patients such sick grants as are accorded in German institutions. The agreement also provides that refugee doctors pre- sently employed at Gauting will be retained and that at least two percent of the staff's physicians shall be IRO refugees as long as they are available. In the adminis- trative service, DP's will be offered 10 percent of the posts and in auxiliary services, at least 25 percent. Ad- missions will be limited to eligible refugees until their number falls- below 80 percent of the hospital's capacity, at which time other patients may receive treatment. JUNE 1951 26
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