Student activism and university reform in England, France, and Germany, 1960's- 1970's
University reform has become one of the most important, complex issues of the past three decades. Initiated in the turbulent 1960’s as a response to demands for change, the governments of England, France, and Germany sought to provide change to their centuries-old systems of higher education, largely through politically expedient measures of reform. This study seeks to answer the question: With the passage of time, how effective were the student demands for reform? Purposes of Study:
- To determine the origins and objectives of the student-initiated demands for reform of the higher educational systems of England, France, and Germany in the 1960’s and early 1970’s?
- To determine the extent to which measure of reform have been, or are being, realized.
- To determine the nature and extent of change on the higher education systems, and on selected aspects of society.
- To compare and contrast the objectives and results of the student-initiated reform measures in England, France, and Germany. Methodology: This is a historical, comparative, analytical study which relied upon books; newspaper articles; journals; parliamentary records; interviews with professors in England, France, and Germany; and documentaries to provide data for the subsequent comparison and analysis. Findings: Research indicated that student activism was neither the sole, nor the prime, impetus for higher educational reform in the Sixties, but rather served a supplementary role, that of illustrating the exigency for legislative action. Students of the Sixties, however, changed the perception of the student role within the family, the university, and society; brought educational issues to the public consciousness; advanced the issue of accountability in academia; and earned students the acknowledgement of being a viable social force.