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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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Abbreviations, Contractions and Acronyms xiii


Abbreviations, Contractions and Acronyms AAU Academic Audit Unit AC Accreditation Council (Germany) ACSET Advisory Committee for the Supply and Education of Teachers ATO Area Training Organisation AUT Association of University Teachers BA Bachelor’s degree BAföG Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz BFUG Bologna Follow Up Group BLK Bund-Länder-Kommission BMBF Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMFT Bundesministerium für Forschung und Technologie CATE Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education CATS Credit Accumulation and Transfer CEC Commission of the European Communities CEPES Centre européen pour l’enseignement supérieur CHE Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung (Gütersloh) CNAA Council for National Academic Awards CVCP Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals DBIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills DES Department of Education and Science DFE Department for Education DHV Deutscher Hochschulverband DIUS Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills DQA Division for Quality Audit DQR Deutscher Qualifikationsrahmen DS Diploma Supplement EACEA Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency EC European Commission xiv Abbreviations, Contractions and Acronyms ECTS European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System EHEA European Higher Education Area ENQA European Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education EOS Erweiterte Oberschule EQAR European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education EQF European Qualification Framework ESIB European Student Information Bureau ESU European Students’ Union EU European Union EUA European University Association EURASHE European Association of Institutions in Higher Education EWNI England, Wales and Northern Ireland FD Foundation Degree FHEQ Framework for Higher Education Qualifications FHS Fachhochschule FQ-EHEA Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area FRG Federal Republic of...

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