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PhD row gets political

Schleswig-Holstein’s move to give its universities of applied sciences, Fachhochschulen, the right to award PhDs has angered conservative politicians in Bavaria.

Ludwig Spaenle, Bavaria’s research minister, said that PhD education does not fit the academic profile of Fachhochschulen. “These institutions are identified by their strong relation to practical education and their targeted training for applied science,” he said.

The Bavarian response to Schleswig-Holstein’s education minister Waltraud Wende, who announced last week that she wants to recognise the increasingly high quality of research at Fachhochschulen by allowing them to award PhDs, reveals a deep political rift across Germany about the role of Fachhochschulen.

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