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The Humboldt Myth and the Bologna Process. Hans Pechar University of Klagenfurt. This photo was used across the front pages of most of the national newspapers following the student protest.  (London, Nov 2010). Milano, 2010. Madrid, 2011. 45% youth unemployment rate in Spain.

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the humboldt myth and the bologna process

The Humboldt Myth and the Bologna Process

Hans Pechar

University of Klagenfurt

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide2

This photo was used across the front pages of most of the national newspapers following the student protest.  (London, Nov 2010)

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide3

Milano, 2010

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide4

Madrid, 2011

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

the basic argument
The Basic Argument
  • 3 waves of “Humboldt myth“ – defence against modernization of HE
  • early 1900s: “Invention“ of Humboldt
  • Fritz Ringer – Decline of German Mandarins (1890 – 1933)
  • The Mandarins after 1945
  • late1900s: 3rd wave – Humboldt vsBologna
  • protect Humboldt against his mythologists

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide12

1808/09: Prussian Minister of Education

Plan for reforming the Prussian education system:

Über die innere und äußere Organisation der höheren wissenschaftlichen Anstalten in Berlin ('On the internal and external organization of higher academic institutions in Berlin').

Not published and unknown, rediscovered and first published in 1903, triggered 1st wave of Humboldt myth

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

germanic e ducation b asic f acts
Germanic Education – Basic Facts
  • early streaming (age 10): Gymnasium vs “mainschool”
  • graduates of Gymnasium entitled to enroll at university – noadmission
  • before Bologna: No undergraduatecourses
  • before 1960s: Doctorate = 1st degree
  • before governance reform: no university management; Rector = figurehead

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

the ringer story
The Ringer Story

German exceptionalism: The social standing of the educated middle classes

  • historic window ofopportunity
  • ideology of cultivation (Bildung)
  • sociological concepts (class vs status)

Rise and decline ofMandarins

  • socially progressive concept (early/mid 1800s)
  • reactionary ideology (from late 1800s)

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

historic w indow of opportunity
Historic Window of Opportunity

Intermediate stage of economic development

  • landed aristocracy in defense, the commercial middle classes not yet strong

Prussia humiliated by Napoleon

“The physical power that the Prussian state has lost must be replaced by spiritual power”

Hope of salvation is attached to the Germanic notion of Bildung

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

ideology of cultivation bildung
Ideology of Cultivation (Bildung)

Pure, impractical learning as end in itself

Inner growth

  • roots in Pietism, quasireligious belief system (sons of Protestant pastors become secular intellectuals)

Anti-utilitarianism: claim of a leisure elite, exempted from manual work, responsible to govern society (functional ruling class)

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

s ociological concepts class vs status
Sociological Concepts (Class vs Status)

Max Weber

Distinction class vs status (social estate)

Class:objective positions in system of production

Status: attributed social honor associated with certain styles of life (similar to habitus)

Non-utilitarian cultivation emphasizes the status dimension

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

max weber
Max Weber

“Differences of education are one of the strongest social barriers, especially in Germany, where almost all privileged positions inside and outside the civil service are tied to qualifications involving not only specialized knowledge but also ‘general cultivation’ and where the whole school and university system has been put into the service of this ideal of general cultivation.”

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

friedrich paulsen
Friedrich Paulsen

“The academically educated constitute a kind of intellectual and spiritual aristocracy .... Together, the make up a homogeneous segment of society; they simply recognize each other as social equals on the bases of their academic cultivation ... Conversely, anyone in Germany who has no academic education lacks something which wealth and high birth cannot fully replace.”

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

friedrich paulsen1
Friedrich Paulsen

“Educated and uneducated, these are the two halves into which society is at present divided. They have gradually caused older divisions to be forgotten.”

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide33

Rise: Formative Era

1848

Revolution

1890s

1918

Weimer

1968

1933

1945

Napoleonic

Wars

1990s

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

rise formative era
Rise: Formative Era
  • modernization: feudal estates based on birth displaced by social estates based on vocation
  • neo-humanist emphasis on Bildung: meritocratic challenge to privilege of birth
  • emancipatory educational ideals, socially inclusive

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide35

Mandarins at their Peak

1848

Revolution

1890s

1918

Weimer

1968

1933

1945

1990s

Napoleonic

Wars

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

mandarins at their peak
Mandarins at their Peak
  • represent political interest of the rising bourgeois society (e.g. Revolution of 1848)
  • culturalhegemony
  • German research university becomes global rolemodel
  • but disciplinary specializationviolatedneo-humanist principles

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide37

Decline: Age of Masses

1848

Revolution

1890s

1918

Weimer

1968

1933

1. Humboldt Myth

1945

Napoleonic

Wars

1990s

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

decline age of masses
Decline: Age of Masses

Rapid economicdevelopment,

 commercial + working classes strengthened, cultivatedclasssqueezed, hegemony threatened

Rise of modern/technical HE

“Cultural crisis”

  • soulless modernity, over- specialization, utilitarian research

Regressive anti-modernism & anti-capitalism

  • German culture vs Western civilization

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

invention of humboldt
Invention of Humboldt
  • no reference to Humboldt during the 19th century (only little to neo-humanist concepts of higher learning)
  • discovery of Humboldt‘s manuscript triggers 1st wave of Humboldt myth
  • return to Humboldt: rebirth of a nation, solution of cultural crisis

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide40

Decline: Weimar Republic

1848

Revolution

1890s

1918

Weimer

1968

1933

1. Humboldt Myth

1945

Napoleonic

Wars

1990s

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

decline weimar republic
Decline: Weimar Republic

Downwardmobility

Hyperinflation

  • salaries higher officials/workers: pre-war 7:1, after war 2:1; fiscal austerity threatensuniversities

Delegitimize the democratic government, increasing right-wing orientation

“The difference between the intellectual elite of Germany and the extremist right-wing intellectuals was largelya matter of style and tone” (Habermas)

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

ringer story continued
Ringer Story Continued

1945 2nd Humboldt myth – restoration of the old academicregime

1968Mass culture and mass higher education arrives in the Germanic countries

1990s3rd wave of Humboldt myth against governance reforms and Bologna process

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide43

1945: Restoration of Old Regime

1848

Revolution

1890s

1918

Weimer

Napoleonic

Wars

1968

1933

1. Humboldt Myth

1945

2. Humboldt Myth

1990s

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

1945 restoration of old regime
1945: Restoration of Old Regime
  • Mandarins repel US demands to democratize education

 2nd Humboldtian myth

“healthy in its core”

  • facilitated return to the old regime of neo-humanist Mandarin hegemony
  • economic and political integration of Germany & Austria into Western Hemisphere;
  • mass consumption accepted, mass culture devalued ( comics = trash literature, jazz = “negro” music)

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide45

1968: Mass Culture Takes Off

1848

Revolution

1890s

1918

Weimer

1968

1933

1. Humboldt Myth

1945

Napoleonic

Wars

2. Humboldt Myth

1990s

mass

uni-

versity

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

1968 mass culture takes off
1968: Mass Culture Takes Off

Cultural Revolution

  • mass culture and mass higher education becomesaccepted

Habermas (1971): Mandarins disappeared

Educated middle classes still powerful: avoidedstructuralreforms

    • no comprehensive school, expansion of Gymnasium
    • neo-humanist façade provides excuses for ignoring the realities of mass HE

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

slide47

1990s: NPM & Bologna

1848

Revolution

1890s

1918

Weimer

1968

1933

1. Humboldt Myth

1945

Napoleonic

Wars

2. Humboldt Myth

1990s

NPM, Bologna

mass

uni-

versity

3. Humboldt Myth

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

1990s npm bologna
1990s: NPM & Bologna
  • since 1960s gov‘t stressed economic relevance of HE, but did not interfere into governance and internal academicaffairs
  • NPM ends the concept of “cultural state”

(benevolent sponsor, attaching no conditions)

  • Bologna introduces a new culture of teaching and learning ending the laissez-fairepractice
  • last combat of “Humboldt warriors” to maintain the neo-humanist façade

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

cultural state vs npm
Cultural State vs NPM

Dual nature ofuniversity

State agency + autonomouscorporation

    • External affairs: micromanaged byministry
    • Internal affairs: governance of academicoligarchy

NMP

  • Governance similar to North American publicuniversities

Critics

  • privatization, commercialization

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

laissez faire vs bologna
Laissez-Faire vs Bologna

Laissez-faire Culture

Academics

    • teach only boutique courses (their research topics), no coherentsyllabus

Students

    • must register, but no enrollment and completionmonitoring

Never applied to professional/technical studies

Bologna

  • 2-tier structure, workload, credits, prerequisites

Critics

  • Cultivation sacrificed to economic demands (employability)

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

future prospects
Future Prospects?
  • Bologna has reached a point of no return; teething troubles will be tackled
  • unlikely that the neo-humanist façade will survive
  • more noise to be expected, but protest is voice of an outspoken minority, most academics and students have no strong views

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011

further reading
Further Reading
  • Ash, M.G. (2006), Bachelor of what, master of whom? The Humboldt myth and historical transformations of higher education in German-speaking Europe and the US. European Journal of Education, 41(2), 245-267.
  • Habermas, J. (1971), The intellectual and social background of the German university crisis, Minerva 9, 422-28
  • Michelsen, S. (2010), Humboldt Meets Bologna, Higher Education Policy, 23, 151–172
  • O'Boyle, L. (1983), Learning for Its Own Sake: The German University as Nineteenth-Century Model, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 25, No. 1 pp. 3-25
  • Paletschek, S. (2001), The Invention of Humboldt and the Impact of National Socialism. The German University Idea in the First Half of the Twentieth Century, in: Margit Szöllösi-Janze (Hrsg.): Science in the Third Reich. Oxford: Berg, 37-58
  • Pritchard, R. (2006), Trends in the restructuring of German universities,Comparative Education Review 50(1): 90–112.
  • Ringer, F. (1969), The Decline of the German Mandarins. The German Academic Community 1890–1933, Cambridge, Harvard UP
  • Ringer, F. (1986), Differences and Cross-National Similarities among Mandarins, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 28, 145-164
  • Schimank, U. (2005), New Public Management’ and the Academic Profession: Reflections on the German Situation, Minerva, 43, 361-376

HansPechar, Sept6, 2011