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Higher Education Reform: Looking Back – Looking Forward

Second Revised Edition


Edited By Pavel Zgaga, Ulrich Teichler, Hans G. Schuetze and Andrä Wolter

The central focus of this book is the concept of higher education reform in the light of an international and global comparative perspective. After decades of far-reaching reform, higher education around the world has profoundly changed and now has to face the challenges of the present. This volume takes a close look at these changes, the drivers of change, their effects and possible future scenarios. In their contributions the authors discuss a variety of basic concepts: learning and teaching in higher education; financing and quality assurance; governance change; massification vs. equity and equality; internationalization and mobility, the implementation of lifelong structures in higher education.
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Academic Freedom under Pressure: From Collegial Governance to New Managerialism


Early academic disputes: The hierarchy of disciplines and the entitlement to elect the rector

By and large universities have been stable entities. Yet over the centuries, universities’ relations to public administration, and the efficiency of public administration itself, underwent a slow transformation. So did the inner structure of the university and the order of precedence of its disciplines. All the while, student numbers have increased to produce the universities of our own time.

In Kraków, capital of the former Kingdom of Poland, the second oldest university in Europe was founded in 1364. From early days that university displayed a clear hierarchy of four faculties – liberal arts, law, medicine and theology. It was a full medieval university and mirrored the medieval worldview in the university structure:

liberal arts, that is philosophy, held the humblest position. A student began his studies at the liberal arts faculty, and only when he had completed the course he could continue at one of the other faculties, of which the faculty of theology was considered the highest one. Similarly, a university professor’s career started at the arts faculty and could be crowned with a professorship in theology. This hierarchy also meant that the remuneration of a professor of theology was considerably higher than that of other professors (Jagiellonian University in Kraków 2014)

and only professors of theology and law were allowed to dine at the rector’s table (as guides in Kraków say when...

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