Neoliberal Developments in Higher Education

The United Kingdom and Germany

by Rosalind Pritchard (Author)
©2011 Monographs XVI, 330 Pages


The paradigmatic values underlying British and German higher education 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. This book studies the emergence over the last twenty years of trends that define themselves in opposition to the traditional university ethos. It addresses the first experiments with private universities in both the United Kingdom and Germany, the instigation of bidding and competition for funding, the assertion of a practical over a theoretical focus in British teacher education and the contrasting views of their institutions held by British and German students and staff. It shows how the antithesis of a neoliberal university 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 higher education systems are examined within the context of the Bologna Process, which in many respects embraces academic capitalism – the epitome of neoliberalism. The book encompasses both qualitative and quantitative research spanning two decades of scholarship, and reflects the author’s profound engagement with universities and with British and German academic culture.


XVI, 330
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (February)
The United Kingdom and Germany Neoliberal Developments in Higher Education the Bologna Process Values of the traditional university in the UK and Germany how East German universities were transformed following unification
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. XVI, 330 pp.

Biographical notes

Rosalind Pritchard (Author)

Rosalind M. O. Pritchard is Professor of Education (Emeritus) at the University of Ulster, where she served as Head of School and coordinator of research. For many years she was director of Master’s and PhD programmes in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is a Senior Distinguished Research Fellow of her institution, and a member of the Academy of Social Sciences.


Title: Neoliberal Developments in Higher Education