chapter  3
19 Pages

Governance in German Higher Education: Competition Versus Negotiation Of Performance


In Germany and elsewhere there has been much talk about a paradigm shift within the higher education system throughout the last decade. The associated reforms have been grouped under the heading New Public Management (which also appears in German texts, otherwise: Neues Steuerungsmodell). This reform program was seen in Germany to encapsulate three main objectives: less state intervention, more university autonomy and, in the new space between actors (state and university) who were previously closely bound, more market and more competition. This was, to some extent, borne out of a recognition that top-down (rational) planning initiatives by the state, for instance, for study reform in the 1970s and 1980s, have not been successful (Schreiterer, 1989). In this sense, we are looking at changes in governance. “Governance” will be defined here as an umbrella term which encapsulates all collective regulations of university action within society, with a particular focus on the role of the state (see Pierre, 2000). On this very broad level, the reform program is indeed similar to the one taking place concurrently in many higher education systems of the world and in many other public services (e.g. health services).