The institutional crisis of the German research university

David P. Baker, Gero Lenhardt

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36 Scopus citations


The ongoing crisis of the German university illustrates the potential difficulties with implementing the emerging global model (EGM) of the new research university in a nation where there is a long tradition of higher education, and where the university and the nation-state have developed together through a historical symbiotic relationship. To help understand the worldwide implications of this new model of the research university, a sociological analysis of higher education as an institution is applied to the German national case in which there are profound institutional barriers to the development of the new research university. The analysis focuses on three areas of acute crisis within the German higher education system, each of which is a function of a clash between the older 19th century model of the university and its resistance to the EGM of the new research university: (1) crisis over the expansion of enrollments; (2) crisis over the expansion of academic freedom; and (3) crisis over the expansion of the scope of teaching and research within the university. Also, recent reforms aimed at university quality, research funding, and faculty development are noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-64
Number of pages16
JournalHigher Education Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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