“Trends in the Restructuring of German Universities.”

Rosalind Pritchard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    What happens when a highly regulated educational system - one featuring academic freedom, a national outlook and an input-oriented state-run bureaucracy - attempts to internationalize and introduce management structures that are outcome-oriented, deregulated, and more efficient? The question is relevant in many countries where universities are trying to get out from under the state, and it is critically important in the formerly Communist systems as well as in countries where Prussian traditions have influenced the university model. In the case of Germany, examined in this article, it has long been admitted that change is needed. There is no shortage of exhortation to achieve it, both within and outside government. Yet the German model is an immensely influential one, both in Europe and the United States. Accordingly, a change in German higher education would represent a significant reconfiguration in the academic world. My purpose in this article is to explore the measures currently being taken to modernize and create a market within German universities, and to evaluate the success of these measures. The following questions are addressed:• How are marketizing trends being manifested in governance and law, management, finance, quality assurance, and human resource management? • What are the obstacles to marketizing trends? • How are these trends influencing the model of the German state in its post-war incarnation?
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9
    JournalComparative Education Review (USA),
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2006

    Bibliographical note

    Reference text: TRENDS
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    The Fachhochschulen (FHS) (Universities of Applied Science) do not have a Mittelbau and one view is that the MA qualification of a FHS should not be recognised as being of the same standard as that of a university in cases where BA and MA are offered.
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    Traditionally, this security of the Beamtentum has been highly valued and has deep roots in history. In 1794, the Prussian Allgemeines Landrecht (Article 73, Part 2 (12)) gave the professors and officials of the universities the right to become civil servants, and payment was according to office and qualifications rather than achievements (W. Löwer, “Notwendigkeit oder Privileg? Berufsbeamtentum für Professoren,” Forschung und Lehre 10 (2000), p. 522 & 555). Article 48 (3) of the Federal Framework Law states that junior professors may be offered an ‘employee status’ (Angestelltenverhältnis) instead of full civil servant status, and even for full professors, civil service status may be time-limited.
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    As Kuhlen (163) remarks, “there is no will to keep potential academic recruits at the very location where they have demonstrated their brilliance.”
    “Exzellenzinitiative und Pakt für Forschung und Innovation starten.” BMBF Press release 147/2005 of 23rd June 2005.
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    As Karl Ulrich Mayer comments: “The state is far from being willing to give up its higher education administrative responsibilities and trusts neither the leadership teams of the HEIs nor the accreditation authorities.” In “Mißtrauen im Reformprozeß, Forschung und Lehre 6 (2002), 299.
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    Jessop, p. 122 and 140.
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    • German Higher Education
    • reform
    • Higher Education Law


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