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Berlin Spat Shows German Students Facing Racism Lack Support

  • Many universities don’t have way to handle student complaints
  • Black Lives Matter has focused attention on tackling the issue
Updated on

When students at an elite university in Berlin charged the school with condoning racist attitudes, the administration had no formal procedures in place to deal with the spat. Even its diversity czar said it was out of her hands.

The dispute at the Hertie School -- one of Germany’s top training grounds for civil servants -- was sparked by a professor characterizing the toppling of statues by protesters as barbaric. The ad-hoc way the institution dealt with the controversy highlights how many universities in Europe’s largest economy don’t have mechanisms in place to address potential discrimination.