Neoliberal Developments in Higher Education: the United Kingdom and Germany

Rosalind Pritchard

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    The paradigmatic values underlying British and German higher education (HE) emphasise personal growth, the wholeness of the individual, intellectual freedom and the pursuit of knowledge, which cumulatively can be viewed as a form of academic essentialism. However, these concepts were generated within a particular cultural and historical context which has largely been supplanted by neoliberalism. The book studies the emergence of trends that often define themselves in opposition to the traditional university ethos. It addresses the first experiments with private universities in both countries, the instigation of bidding and competition for funding, the assertion of practical over theoretical focus in British teacher education and the contrasting views that British and German students and staff hold of their institutions. It shows how the antithesis of a neoliberal system, that of the former German Democratic Republic, was transformed under the impact of unification policies. The author also analyses important social issues such as gender, in relation to the academic profession, highlighting how the individual may feel atomised despite a discourse of equality. Finally, the two HE systems are contextualised within the Bologna Process which in many respects embraces academic capitalism — the epitome of neoliberalism. The volume encompasses both qualitative and quantitative study spanning twenty years of research and scholarship, and reflects the author’s profound engagement with universities and with British and German academic culture.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherPeter Lang
    Number of pages329
    ISBN (Print)978-3-0343-0715-4
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 23 Nov 2011


    • Academic autonomy
    • Academic time deployment
    • Bildung
    • Bologna Process
    • Competition and bidding
    • East German higher education
    • Gender equality in academe
    • German higher education
    • German universities
    • Government steering in Britain
    • Market force culture
    • Neoliberal developments in HE
    • New public management
    • Private universities
    • Teacher education
    • Traditional university values.


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