I sat this week and watched some American agenda-enthusiast hype up "free university". During this political season in the US....it's one of the hundred-odd topics that get brought up. Some people will even go and reason that since free university works in Germany.....well, we ought to bring it to the US.
I've lived long enough in Germany to speak to this subject of German "free university", and one ought to be get all the facts lined up before they want to jump into the German experience.
First, German high schools aren't competitive sports organizations. Typically, there are two or three periods a week for physical work-outs, but there aren't any football, basketball, baseball, or soccer clubs built into any school atmosphere. If you want competitive sports.....you go to the town or village sports club after school, and participate there. Germans will tell you that their schools are for learning, NOT for sports.
Second, German universities will tell you that they aren't into competitive sports either. No NCAA teams, or marginal dimwits showing up to take college classes that they aren't capable of handling.
Third, German teachers have a schedule and you need to be in class and achieving the goals of the class. Skip out on anything and miss understanding some segment for a test? Fail enough tests? You get a "failure", and if you can accumulate enough of these.....you fail the year, and repeat. Germans don't joke much about that. They actually fail you.
Fourth, playing games about forgetting your book, your homework, or fail to study for a test? The teachers and school administrators will make sure that you don't get to the university level.
Fifth, partying it up at a German college? You won't make it past the first year....they will let you go.
Sixth, hyped up on some social or lifestyle agenda? German schools don't have time for you, your social game, or your new found lifestyle. School starts at 8 and will end between 12:30 and 1:30. Less hours, compacted into precise modules of learning.
If you wanted the free university deal that Germany offers, you need to be able to accept the consequences attached to it. My guess is that after a through examination.....most people hyping up free college won't be happy with the German version, and would decline it.