Monday, January 8, 2018

Medical school admissions in Germany

Sven Seuken and Stephanie Wang point me to these stories:

Germany: Selection process for medical students deemed partly unconstitutional
Germany's top court has ruled that the current method universities use to allocate places for medical studies violates equal opportunity laws. The federal government is to regulate the criteria used for offering places.

"Under the current system, German universities are able to apply what was known as the 20-20-60 rule for prospective medical students. Twenty percent of places are allocated to students with the very best overall marks in the final school exams, a selection process generally referred to as the numerus clausus. Often students with marks as high as 1.2 (the equivalent of a 3.9 GPA in the US) would not be guaranteed a place.

"A further 20 percent of places go to students who had been previously been placed on a waiting list.

"The remaining 60 percent are chosen based on various criteria determined by the individual universities — a system the judges found to be unfair.

"Three universities — Aachen, Bonn and Düsseldorf — base their selection only on the average school grades, while a number of other institutions make prospective students have an interview. Lawmakers must now work to lift these discrepancies.

"Applicants who are not accepted in the first selection round can be put on a waiting list for up to seven years, according to some estimates. The court also ordered officials to work on shortening those waiting times.

"The claim was taken to court by two applicants who had achieved a grade of 2.0 and 2.6, but hadn't been admitted to medical school after being on the waiting list for eight and six years respectively. "

Here's a more detailed article in German
Medizin-NC vor dem Bundesverfassungsgericht
Sie können doch nicht warten, bis alle grau sind
(G Translate: Medical NC in the Federal Constitutional Court
You can not wait until all are gray)

Sven Seuken writes:
"The judges criticized, in particular:
@1: even if your GPA is high enough to get into some school, because of the limitation to a list length of 6 (where you rank universities), you might get unlucky and get into no school. That's unfair.

@2: If you get into a school "by waiting long enough", your waiting time to get a spot at a university might be 7.5 years. That is considered "dysfunctional". However, I have no idea if they have a better system in mind.

@3: Some universities only use the GPA as their selection criterion for category 3. The judges criticized this, and said that at least one more criterion must be used."

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