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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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Acknowledgements xi


Acknowledgements The sources of the chapters in this book are as follows. All papers that have been previously published are reprinted with the formal permission of the publishers. Pritchard, R. M. O. (1992). Principles and Pragmatism in Private Higher Education: Examples from Britain and Germany, Higher Education 24 (2), 247–273. Pritchard, R. M. O. (1994). Government Power in British Higher Education, Studies in Higher Education, 19 (3), 253–265. Pritchard, R. M. O. (1997). Some International Perspectives on British Teacher Training. In K. Watson, C. Modgil and S. Modgil (eds), Teacher Education and Training, pp. 223–236, this being Vol. 1 of Educational Dilemmas: Debate and Diversity: Teachers, Teacher Education and Training. London: Cassell. Pritchard, R. M. O. (1998). Academic Freedom and Autonomy in the United Kingdom and Germany, Minerva, 36 (2), 101–124. Pritchard, R. M. O. (2004). Higher Education in East Germany after Unification. In M. Dennis and E. Kolinsky (eds), United and Divided: Germany since 1990, pp. 110–122. Oxford: Berghahn. Pritchard, R. M. O. (2005). The Inf luence of Market Force Culture on British and German Academics, Comparative Education, 41 (4), 433–454. Pritchard, R. M. O. (2006). British and German Students in a Shifting Scenario, Higher Education Management and Policy, 18 (3), 111–133. Pritchard, R. M. O. (2006). Trends in the Restructuring of German Universities, Comparative Education Review, 50 (1), 90–112. New Public Management, Academic Time and Gender Inequality, written jointly with Mary Henkel. Not previously published. The Bologna Process in Higher...

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