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Center for Higher Education
Guest talk

Dr. Anne J. MacLachlan

(University of California, Berkeley, USA)

American Elite Universities and Why Germany Does Not Need Them

This talk examines the attributes of "elite" US universities focusing on their role as social institutions replicating academic (and other) elites through their doctoral programs which still tend to exclude women and students of color while perpetuating a closed social system by hiring one another's doctorates. The result greatly weakens higher education as a vehicle of social mobility and perpetuates a skewed competitive system expressed in part through their leading positions in international rankings. What makes some US universities "elite" derives from historically evolved legal and social circumstances very different from Germany's. The present reorganization of German higher education which aspires to create US-like elite universities seems to overlook the origin and current functioning of US elite models. Creating such institutions in Germany will only intensify the neo-liberal tendencies in the New Public Management, erode the egalitarian paradigm, and further weaken education as "Bildung".


Anne J. MacLachlan, Ph.D., has worked in various positions within the University of California for 33 years, the last as a Senior Researcher, Center for Studies in Higher Education and Molecular and Cell Biology at U.C. Berkeley. She researches postsecondary access and success of women and underrepresented minorities focusing on doctoral students and faculty. Her work includes studies of discrimination and bias, doctoral education and career outcomes. Her current interest is on German doctoral reforms. Her Ph.D. is in German social and economic history and she has held fellowships from DAAD, Max-Planck-Institut, Institut für Europäische Geschichte, served on panels for National Institutes of Health, Sloan Foundation, National Science Foundation, and the AAAS, and received grants from the Spencer and Packard Foundations. She has lived in Germany and Holland for several years.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018, 4.00–5.30 p.m. | Vogelpothsweg 78 (CDI building), room 114
Center for Higher Education (zhb)
Professorship of Higher Education

Presentation