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Neoliberal Developments in Higher Education

The United Kingdom and Germany

Rosalind Pritchard

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.


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List of Tables ix Acknowledgements xi Abbreviations, Contractions and Acronyms xiii Introduction 1 Chapter 1 Academic Freedom and Autonomy in the United Kingdom and Germany 19 Chapter 2 Principles and Pragmatism in Private Higher Education: Examples from the United Kingdom and Germany 45 Chapter 3 Challenges of Participation in German Higher Education: An East–West Comparison 81 Chapter 4 Trends in the Restructuring of German Universities 97 Chapter 5 Government Power in British Higher Education 127 viii Chapter 6 Some International Perspectives on British Teacher Training 149 Chapter 7 British and German Students in a Shifting Scenario 171 Chapter 8 The Inf luence of Market Force Culture on British and German Academics 201 Chapter 9 New Public Management, Academic Time and Gender Inequality (with Mary Henkel) 231 Chapter 10 The Bologna Process in Higher Education: German and British Responses 255 References 297 Index 323

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