U.S. university life (nonstandard) (was: Re: Canadian Universi ty Life)

Britta Koch bkoch at rz.uni-osnabrueck.de
Tue Mar 7 15:38:22 EST 2000


On  7 Mar, Nat Case wrote:
> Interesting distinction (college - university)
OK, I admit I was lazy.
What I called college is called a "Fachhochschule" here, what I called
university is "Universitaet" or "Hochschule". 

At the Fachhochschule(FH), you learn more about the "how" of things, you
go there for 3 - 4 years, you have a fixed timetable and sometimes a
degree where it says (FH) so people know you didn't go to uni. You can
go there after 12 years of school with something called "Fachabitur".

Uni is more about the "why" of things, you can study 4 years and more,
and you have to have 13 years of school and the full "Abitur" for it
(even though they're cutting down on the 13 years...).

FHs are newer and make much noise about reforms and being better right
now, unis are older and sometimes more stuck in their ways.

And since FHs have a fixed timetable and a more profession-specific
curriculum (most FH students end up in the area they studied, while uni
students tend to study for the knowledge - I _think_), it's more like
school and less open - IMHO, and I only go to uni, but FH students seem
to only want to get on with it...

And, to my chagrin, even though uni students are so "left", the AStA
(student governing body) in Osnabrueck has been mostly conservative for
some time - elected by a stunning 20 % of voters. (It must be all those
law and business students! The rest sure aren't _that_ conservative!)

Britta, lecturing you all about the German school system ;)
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