European Patriotism

This blog is about European patriotism and world politics from a European perspective.

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Location: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Monday, May 02, 2011

Education in the EU

This post is about tertiary eduction in the EU. We Europeans have to admit, that when it comes to cutting-edge science, we lag behind the US. The US has some of the worlds best research universities. Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley and of courese the MIT are prestigious names all over the world.

Let us take a closer look at the success story of MIT to see how we in Europe could possibly form a similar institution.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in 1861 by W. B. Rogers. It was founded as an engineers school, whose main prupose was not scientific study for its own sake. The main purpose was to educate young Americans to become successful innovators. So ties to big industry and military were there right from the beginning. During WW1 and WW2, the MIT received a lot of federal fudning to create state-of-the-art military technology.
MIT has a very distinctive, anti-authoritarian culture. This is also evident by the fact that to this day, the MIT does not arward honorary doctorates and does not issue diplomas and official documents with Latin phrases. Furthermore, the hacker culture began at MIT.
I think we urgently need a European version of the MIT.
The MIT is surrounded by big IT, Biotech, Medtech and pharmaceutical companies who all closely collaborate with the MIT. It's a win-win situation.
I know that European legislators have begun to see the necessity of world-class institutions like the MIT. In Germany, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology was founded in 2009 as the first such institution in Europe. The KIT will also develop military technology. The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will teach students the necessary business skills to help them transform ideas into money.
In Germany, we have a very prestigious research organization, the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. The MPG is responsible for the Max-Planck-Institutes throughout the country. Most of the German Nobel Laureates are affiliated with the MPG.
One should also consider implementing the MPG on a European level and installing MPIs in, say, France or the Netherlands.
Also, I think the German Center for Cancer Research in Heidelberg should be renamed to European Center for Cancer Research, esp. since the European Molecular Biology Laboratory is already situated in Heidelberg.
These are just a few thoughts, I'd be happy to hear your comments on the matter.