France, Germany, Italy Have EU′s Least Accessible Universities | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 15.06.2008
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France, Germany, Italy Have EU's Least Accessible Universities

France, Germany and Italy have emerged as the worst performers in a comparison of the ease of access to university in 23 European Union states, according to a report.

Students follow a lecture in a lecture hall in Hamburg

If you haven't completed high school, you have little chance of getting into a German college

On a key measure -- how many students attend university without having passed final-year school exams -- Germany ranked alongside Latvia at just 5 percent, and France and Italy ranked even lower.

At 36 percent, Sweden excelled at bringing into academic life people who have succeeded in trade training rather than by exams.

Spain and Scotland also ranked high, with one-third to one-quarter of tertiary students going to university later after qualifying through their work experience rather than their school careers.

The European Students Report, which was funded by the European Union and Germany and conducted by the Germany's Hochschul Informations System (HIS) company, is due for publication shortly.

Change ahead?

Germany's federal education ministry is expected to use the data to prod the 16 states to admit more workers into academic life.

Germany and Austria also ranked very low on the number of students with blue-collar parents. Children of manual workers have the best chances of being admitted to university if they live in Finland, Spain and the Netherlands, HIS said.

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