Lecture at the University of Bonn (1967)
While the number of university students increased during the 1960s, faculty size at universities remained relatively constant. The overcrowded lecture halls that inevitably resulted were indeed a problem, but the fact remained that, relative to other industrial countries, university graduates still represented only a small percentage of the population of the Federal Republic. This situation mobilized policymakers in the field of education. In 1960, the German Science and Humanities Council, acting as an expert advisory board, published recommendations for “The Construction of Universities and Technical Colleges.” The Federal, State, and Local Educational Advisory Council also published a “Structural Plan for the Educational System,” which included recommendations for reform. Georg Picht’s series of articles on the German “educational catastrophe” (1963) and Ralf Dahrendorf’s book Education as a Civil Right (1965) focused public attention on existing problems in schools and universities. The student protest movement and its demand for the democratization of the educational system led to a massive increase in public awareness of problems in the field of education. Photo by Abisag Tüllmann.