Times Higher Education has a great article about German efforts to lure top Ph.D. talent to its shores and compete more directly with top research schools such as Harvard and Cambridge. The new schools are designed to be interdisciplinary and actively work to integrate the country’s traditionally separate and distinct universities and research centers. Accordingly, these graduate school students will be able to move relatively seamlessly between 21 different universities and 31 different research institutes as they pursue their studies.
These schools will run for an initial trial period of five years and represent the additional break from tradition of trying to maintain equality between the country’s various colleges. The article linked above indicates — and we most certainly concur — that introducing some stronger “flagship” universities can vastly improve the competitiveness of the German university system on the international stage.