Great Britain, Germany - Multicultural education in a multinational society

United Kingdom

The UK has officially recognized the need for education in the spirit of cultural dialogue and the inclusion of cultural diversity in the mid-1980s. The report of the National Commission on Education emphasizes that in order for children to grow citizens of a democratic society, they should, among other things, be educated in a tolerant spirit. The favorable prospects for education towards multiculturalism are stated in the documents of the British School Council (late 1990s): "Good education means understanding your community, sufficient knowledge and understanding of other communities. Good education can not be based on just one culture, and in Britain, where ethnic minorities continually form and form part of the population, education should smooth out the contradictions between cultures and not try to impose a dominant culture. On the contrary, education must absorb the experience of many cultures in order to develop society and expand the cultural horizons of everyone. This is what we understand by cross-culturalism in education & quot;

The way of official Britain to recognize the special interests of subcultures in the field of general education has undergone a certain evolution - from plans to help assimilate to a program of pedagogical support for the diversity of cultures. & quot; UK National Association for the Policies Education & quot; in the late 1970s. proposed a program that provides for: 1) the introduction of information on national minorities in training manuals; 2) creation of manuals and training programs for students from ethnic and racial minorities; 3) the inclusion in the curricula of proposals for the education of awareness of ethnicity; 4) special classes but familiarization with minority cultures.

The indicator of the integration of Great Britain into the cultural and educational space of Europe is the strengthening of the internationalization of higher education. If before the end of the 1980s. the educational market was oriented first of all to the states of the British Commonwealth, then at present the partners in the European Union are on the first place. Great Britain is one of the main participants of the European educational programs. So, when implementing the program "ERAZMUS & quot; The British made up 18-19% of the total number of students. As part of the program "SOCRATES & quot; British higher education institutions organize special training, in particular seminars with participation of domestic and foreign students and teachers.

The policy of cross-cultural education was questioned at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. In 2010, for revision of this policy, the Prime Minister of Great Britain D. Cameron spoke. There are other signs of a departure from the pedagogical policy of cross-culturalism. According to the English researcher E. Howsley, the system of school education in the UK due to recent amendments violates anti-racist legislation.


The inhabitants of Germany are divided into two categories: citizens (90%) and foreigners (primarily immigrants) (10%). The absolute majority of citizens are representatives of the dominant nation and culture. Among them, 34.1% - Protestants, 33.4 - Catholics, 26% do not consider themselves to any confession. Among the citizens - representatives of small subcultures - Muslims (2.7%), Judaists (0.1%), ethnic Germans from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, Danes - Schleswig-Holstein residents, Brandenburg and Saxon sorbs, and also Gypsies.

The central problem of the FRG in matters of pedagogical activity in a multi-ethnic and multicultural environment is the development of a strategy towards national minorities, primarily immigrants. The strategy boils down to a formula (it was amply formulated in conversation with the author by the German scientist R. Goltz): "Multicultural Germany is a cross-cultural (intercultural) education." Recognizing the expediency of such a policy means encouraging contacts and dialogue between autochthons and immigrants while preserving their cultural traditions and a certain distance between them.

On the need for cross-cultural education throughout the 1960-1990's. insisted the participants of the Standing Conference of Education Ministers of Germany. In one of the relevant documents, "Recommendations for Intercultural Education and School Education" (1996) proposes to turn the school into an instrument of "acquiring knowledge and acceptance of other ways of life and cultural identity." The document suggested taking into account the reality of cultural diversity, overcoming the fears of losing the Germans cultural identity, nationalist views and racial prejudices, the infringement of minorities on racial grounds. It was stated that pedagogy can solve similar problems gradually, placing the need for studying other cultures in school classes, which means the need to implement a number of pedagogical tasks: promoting personal cultural socialization; acquisition of knowledge about other cultures; development of interest, openness and understanding to other cultures, fostering respect for the otherness of the other; learning to critically comprehend one's own views and understand the judgments of others. The school thus should promote equal coexistence of cultural minorities and the majority, protect minorities from cultural isolation, respond to the challenges of cultural diversity, which is perceived as social enrichment.

State leaders, known for their conservative views, have expressed their support for the policy of cross-cultural education. Thus, the ex-President of Germany, R. Herzog, stated in 1996 that he considered the primary duty of the school to prepare young people for communication with "people of a different ethnic origin, to the changing cultural life of Germany".

Duke, who succeeded President I. Rau publicly condemned as an anachronism cultural intolerance, which, in his opinion, conceals a threat to social harmony and peace. "Live without fear and without illusions." Live Together in Germany & quot; - this is the theme of the speech delivered by I. Rau in May 2000. The speech develops the thesis that it is necessary for indigenous Germans to open the variability of cultures, to renounce hostility toward foreigners, and fears of disintegration of the national culture. It is also stated about the support of cultural and educational requirements of ethno-cultural minorities, especially immigrants. We must overcome doubts and fear that can lead to hatred and violence. We must overcome reckless xenophobia, which rejects the possibility of compromise solutions to the problems and conflicts that arise between people living together and different according to cultural origins. "

Calling for cross-cultural education, Rau simultaneously spoke in favor of pedagogical policy aimed at the priority development and consolidation of the values ​​and traditions of the German nation and culture. "We should not be misunderstood when we talk about the support of foreigners ... We condemn pedagogical concepts that question the ability of students from German families to receive upbringing with Western Christian origins ... Education is a key element of the interaction of cultures. Only upbringing is able to overcome prejudice. It is the best defense against fundamentalism and racism. "

Germany's school policy in addressing the problems of multiculturalism in the office of Angela Merkel during 2005-2013. has undergone noticeable changes. In the first years of the Chancellorship A. Merkel repeated the ideas of intercultural education, calling for the preservation of cultural differences, intercultural dialogue, primarily with the Muslim Turkish community ("we should learn to speak with Islam"). The Chancellor's statements said that the authorities still intend to take into account the fact that Germany was becoming a multicultural society and that school policy should be aimed at the integration of cultures while maintaining a special leading role of German culture, the consistent involvement of immigrant children in German culture through the teaching of the German language. At the same time, Merkel stressed that the dialogue of cultures does not mean that the western tradition of upbringing fully accepts the ethical and cultural norms of Islam, in particular, the idea of ​​inequality and discrimination against women.

Signs of a turn in Germany's school policy were outlined in 2010, when authorities questioned the viability of intercultural education. Merkel said that the idea of ​​multiculturalism turned out to be a utopia and that the dialogue of the indigenous population and immigrant communities, especially the Turkish communities, did not take place in Germany.

The crisis of the course of cross-cultural education is largely caused by a contradiction in the orientation towards the prospect of assimilation of immigrants into German culture. We refer again to the speech of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Rau, where it is proposed to initiate the cultural universalization of minorities and not to harbor illusions about the prospect of their cultural independence.

Like other EU countries, Germany participates in the creation of an intercultural European space in higher education. The Basic Act on Higher Education of Germany states: "Higher education institutions should promote internationalization, in particular European cooperation in higher education and the exchange of students and teachers between German and foreign institutions of higher education; they must satisfy the specific requirements of foreign students. "

Germany stands out for the scale and diversity of IBO. The corresponding policy is coordinated by the Federal Academic Exchange Service, as well as the land authorities and the administration of educational institutions. Germany is involved in more than 100 programs of international cooperation in higher education. About 2% of German students study abroad. The number of foreign students has reached about 6% of the total number of students in universities in Germany (second only to the United States). In each state university 5% of places for foreign students are reserved. In institutions of higher education there are about 4% of foreign teachers. Over 5.3% of professors work abroad. Among the main partners of Germany in the IMO are primarily the UK and France. In the universities of Germany more than 50% of foreign students come from Western Europe.

Everywhere in higher educational institutions, guest houses for foreign students and teachers have been built. Certificates of education received in other EU countries and granting the right to enter the university are recognized. Applicants should only pass the test for knowledge of the German language. Among foreign students there are many Turks born in immigrant families.

Programs of international cooperation in higher education, in which Germany participates, include virtually the entire core set of academic disciplines. There are, however, preferences in favor of studying foreign languages ​​and jurisprudence. Priorities for the training of German students abroad and foreign students in Germany vary considerably. Germans prefer to study foreign languages ​​and humanitarian disciplines, foreigners are engaged primarily in engineering and technical programs.

Efforts to internationalize higher education are growing and becoming more diverse. Annually about 22 thousand German students are engaged in one of the all-European higher education programs. The study of foreign languages ​​extends more widely; usually the teaching is elective and lasts for 12-16 weeks. Since 1987, the Franco-German College of Higher Education operates for German and French students. On the basis of the University of Karlsruhe, since 1980, the German-French-British project of training engineers for a pan-European program has been implemented. Students spend three years in Karlsruhe, then a year at the Graduate School of Electronics Engineers in Noisile-Gran (France), the fifth year at the Faculty of Electronics and Computer Engineering at the University of Soustamppton (United Kingdom). Graduates receive a diploma of an engineer certified in three universities. Some universities, for example the University of Leipzig, practice the pilot program of the bachelor-master, which provides for the creation of a two-level system of the Anglo-American type: a bachelor's degree and the next magistracy.

Germany's universities, in spite of efforts on the IWO, remain largely closed to foreigners. This is due to the relatively complicated procedure for obtaining diplomas, a language barrier, long terms of actual education (30-year graduates are by no means a rarity), incompatibility of diplomas with diplomas from other countries, insufficient academic and social support for foreigners, barriers to legalization of stay in the country.

There are many obstacles for teaching German students abroad. One of the notable reasons is the shortcomings in the teaching of foreign languages. Although more than 100 foreign languages ​​are taught in German universities, compulsory foreign language instruction is a rather rare case (especially in universities). The exception is fachhochschulen - institutions of incomplete higher education.

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