Damn straight!!! Rav S. R. Hirsch wanted to found a yeshiva for laymen in Frankfurt (which his son-in-law eventually succeeded in doing) precisely because he was afraid that as long as there was only the Berlin Hildesheimer rabbinical seminary, that even the Orthodox laymen would assume that only rabbis need post-high-school Jewish education. Even Rav Hirsch's son-in-law, however, found it difficult to found that lay yeshiva, because the congregants erroneously thought Rav Hirsch would have opposed its creation. For years, the yeshiva had to import students from Hungary, and only later did native Germans finally begin attending it.
As for women, I'd like to quote Rabbi Yehiel Weinberg (of Germany)'s teshuva on qol isha (translated here) [update: Rabbi Weinberg was born in Poland, learned in Mir and Slabodka, and became a renowned rosh yeshiva in the Hildesheimer seminary in Berlin - h/t "Skeptic"]:
I therefore instructed the leaders of [the NCSY-type youth group] Yeshurun that they may rely upon the great rabbis of Germany [viz. Rabbis Hirsch and Hildesheimer]. Those men, experts in education, were familiar with the spirit of the contemporary young woman, who, have been educated in the state schools and having learned languages and science, has a sense of self respect. Because they view the prohibition against their participation in religious singing as a form of ostracism, they have been permitted to participate in singing Shabbos melodies. We know the great rabbis of Germany were more successful in educating their young women that the rabbis of any other country. In Germany we have seen highly educated, scholarly women who are the same time G-d-fearing and enthusiastically observant. For this reason, I do not dare forbid what those rabbis permitted. In these countries, the women will feel they have been insulted and their rights have been denied them if we forbid them to participate in singing Shabbos melodies. Anyone familiar with the nature of the women in these countries will understand this. Prohibiting them may cause them to be estranged from religion, G-d forbid. Of such it is said, 'When it is time to act for the Lord, violate the Torah' (Psalms 119:126).
The women have "self respect"!!! They will "feel they have been insulted and their rights have been denied them" if they perceive themselves as being discriminated against in any way!!! And "[a]nyone familiar with the nature of the women in these countries will understand this"!!!! How many Orthodox rabbis have told these women even today that they aren't sufficiently religious, that their desire to be rabbis evinces lack of piety!!! But Rabbi Yehiel Weinberg, easily one of the greatest rabbis of recent days, held otherwise.
Does it strike anyone as odd that we can be lenient in pesaq for the sake of avoiding monetary loss, and yet so many refuse to be lenient to satisfy women? Are the emotions of women, of half the Jewish people, less important than our money? Rabbi Benzion Uziel said he'd always ruled leniently for the sake of hesed and ahavah whenever he could find a Talmudic basis to do so, and his student Rabbi Haim David Halevy said that Beit Hillel prevailed over Beit Shammai because the former knew the human condition and was lenient. Should we be surprised that it was Rabbi Uziel who said women could vote and hold political office and be a queen (malkah) and be a dayan? (The Ashkenazim of the time held that women may not hold office or even vote. The Ashkenazim today still hold by this in principle, but their selfishness and desire for political influence hypocritically outweigh their adherence to halakhah, and so they let their women vote. As for being a dayan, the rabbis today are still arguing about whether women may be rabbis, even though Rabbi Uziel settled the question some eight or nine decades ago.)
(And it was Rabbi Uziel and other Sephardim who were willing to add conditions to the qetuba, in order to make a qiddushin b'tenai, a conditional marriage, which would allow us to avoid situations of a woman being an agunah - if the conditions were not met, the marriage would be retroactively void. To my knowledge, the only other rabbis who held by qiddushin b'tenai as a practical solution for today were ... drumroll ... Rabbi Yehiel Weinberg and his student Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Berkovits. Rabbi Emanuel Rackman asks in One Man's Judaism why agunot must follow Ashkenazi stricture instead of Sephardi leniency in this area.)
Elsewhere in the same teshuva on qol isha, Rabbi Weinberg said (as quoted here):
In any event, when I was asked ... I instructed them that they should continue their activity in accordance with the way that was delineated for them by the great [rabbis] of Germany, who were very righteous ... and the great [rabbis] of Germany were erudite and expert in the wisdom of education and therefore they succeeded by their deeds to raise whole generations of people who had both the fear of Heaven and secular learning, something that did not occur under the [most] brilliant of the great [rabbis] of Lithuania and Poland, because they did not know how to adjust the education [-al methods] according to the conditions of the time. It is known what the brilliant Rabbi Salanter told upon his return from Germany, where he met with Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer and saw him lecture classes in Bible and Shulhan Arukh in front of young single women. He [Rabbi Salanter] said thus [in reaction]: if any one of the rabbis from Lithuania would act in such a manner in his community, they would remove him from his post, and such is the law. In any event, it is my hope that my place in the afterworld will be with Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer . ... And now the rabbis of Poland and Hungary who have found their way to France see the modern practices ... and they vehemently protest them, because these practices are in opposition to explicit laws ... but these said rabbis are not erudite in the conditions of life ...
About women's semikhah, see what I've written here. About qol isha, see my article here. About women's education in Germany, see Dr. Laura Shaw-Frank's "But We Are Guilty for Our Daughters": Lessons Learned from the History of Jewish Girls' Education in Germany and Eastern Europe in the Ninteenth Century