Friday, January 28, 2005

Education in Germany and Korea

People asked me a lot why I went to Korea to study a year abroad. Read this interesting article about Korean education from the German newspaper "Die Zeit".

Korea understood that educated citizens and technology are their only real resource in the future. Simple production jobs are moving away to China etc., and the country itself has no natural resources. So education is even more important.

We've got this debate in Germany as well. Federal as well as regional government states, the universities have to do better. Universities say, that they need more money to do so.

The solution seemed all too easy. From this week universities in Germany are allowed to take tuition fees from its students. Well, one might say, this is not unusual in the world. Right! But don't believe it's the ultimate solution to the problem. I don't even believe that it helps a sh...

Well, let's come back to Korea. They also take tuition fees. And if you compare a Korean campus to a German one, you'll notice, that the Korean one is ten times better equipped. Its libraries are longer open than the subway. The visiting hours of the academic staff is not limited to two hours a week. And so on.

But the difference is not so big, because Korea has long implemented a system of tuition fees. But because they understood the importance of education. Because their universities are more flexible. And because they spend one fifth of their budget on education compared to a mere 4.3% in Germany, which is less than the European average (see here for an offical German report). I don't believe that tuition fees can come up for that difference. And that's why we shouldn't regard this problem as solved.

Ah, and if you think about studying abroad, why not visiting a country where education is really considered important?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Back on Tuesday

I'll be away on a job interview until late Tuesday evening. Tomorrow I'll visit Julia before having the interview in Mannheim on Tuesday morning. Wish me luck. Or better - wish them luck! :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


I just come back from a training session with the local triathlon club TriSport Schwerin, which was funny and helpfull. I'll also join the next sessions if I have time and may even join the club. I think it's a good idea to get some support for my summer challenge. :)

Tomorrow Teresa and me will be in Hamburg, where she will be a candidate in a regional quiz show.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Marathon Victory

As you know, I celebrated New Years Eve in Hamburg at the Reeperbahn, together with Julia, Tim, Kai, his girlfriend, sister and friends. Our club had 3 different dance floors, Latin, Pop and Independent. We mostly stayed in the third. I tried my best to avoid too much of alcohol, which was a bit difficult, especially at the start of the evening, cause Kai's sister had prepared vodka jelly and punch in her flat.

The party lasted until the early morning and Julia and I went to bed around 5 or 6 am. At 9 I had to get up again, cause I had registered for the Ulrich Zwingli marathon some days ago. At first it was just a crazy idea, but it became fixed in my mind the more I thought about it.

So I left Kai's house around 9:30am and arrived at the Teichwiesen (a natural park within Hamburg). It was a nice lap course around some ponds and a big cow meadow. The track was quite muddy, as you can see on the photo. But I had brought my new waterproof shoes, which turned out very comfortable.

A crew of 2 and later 3 people handed us drinks and food every lap. I stayed at the lead right from the start. The first 3 laps in a team of four, then 8 laps with another guy, before I enforced the speed a bit for the last ones. I had dreamed of it beforehand, but now it really became reality. I had won my first marathon (follow the link for the official race report).

OK, my time of 3:39 h isn't world-class, and 15 runners made this marathon not one of the most distinguished. But I had been the best on this cloudy, warm New Years day morning. And it's a good feeling to have achieved something like this just 14 hours within the new year.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Some more days...

Tomorrow I'll drive back home. So I'll repair my pages this week. I've got some new photos to show and also some news to tell. For now I'll just say, Jolle and Marathon!

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

My site was down for a while...

because I changed my provider. Originally it was planned that there is no interruption, as I would have forwarded the domains at my new provider to the webspace of my old provider, which I paid until the end of January. But he deleted it already, so I'll have to upload it when I'm back home. Right now you'll just see the blog without photos and no website. I also dropped my domain, cause I don't need it, and is enough. My sister's website will also be uploaded when I come back home. See you, Jolle!