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Guest talk

Prof. Dr. Francisco Ramirez

(Graduate School of Education, Stanford, USA)

The Socially Embedded American University

The preeminence of American universities in multiple international rankings has led to their deployment as benchmarks in global educational discourse. An idealized model of the socially embedded American university is dramatized by "world class" metaphors and disseminated by consultants without borders. The latter identify "best practices" in the pursuit of excellence and portray these practices as portable. The message is that all universities can learn to be excellent by adhering to these best practices, and further, that the boundaries between university and society should be more permeable, leading to greater flexibility with respect to funding, curriculum, governance, and other organizational dimensions.

The global preeminence of American universities is currently theorized to emphasize both their social embeddedness and their organizational character: they are imagined to be more attuned to the real world and to be more organizationally effective. These virtues, of course, become vices from the perspective of their critics; they are imagined to be corrupted by real-world (often corporate) influences and to no longer adhere to a distinctive institutional mission.

This talk will identify and discuss three dynamics in the development of the American university: (1) increased entrepreneurship linked to institutional advancement goals, (2) increasingly empowered individuals linked to ideas about individual rights and human potential, and (3) increased legalization as cultural adaptation to increased entrepreneurship and empowered individuals. These trends are manifestations of the intensification of the socially embedded university.

Francisco Ramirez is Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Sociology at Stanford University where he is also the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the Graduate School of Education. His current research interests focus on the rise and institutionalization of human rights and human rights education, on the worldwide rationalization of university structures and processes, on terms of inclusion issues as regards gender and education, and on the scope and intensity of the authority of science in society.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016, 4.00–5.30 p.m. | Vogelpothsweg 78 (CDI building), room 114
Center for Higher Education (zhb)
Professorship of Higher Education

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.


TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".


The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.


The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.


Interactive map

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Campus Lageplan Zum Lageplan