Expansion and Structural Change: Higher Education in Germany, the United States, and Japan, 1870-1990

Expansion and Structural Change: Higher Education in Germany, the United States, and Japan, 1870-1990

Expansion and Structural Change: Higher Education in Germany, the United States, and Japan, 1870-1990

Expansion and Structural Change: Higher Education in Germany, the United States, and Japan, 1870-1990

Synopsis

In modern societies the university is the most important channel of mobility & a central institution to ensure equality of opportunity & social justice. Universities assumed an important role in the political & cultural emancipation of women, minorities, & the lower socioeconomic classes. Expansion & Structural Change explores the historical process of the expansion of universities for a period of more than a hundred years in the United States, Germany, Japan, Italy, & France.

Excerpt

This volume explores the expansion and structural changes that universities in Germany, the United States, and Japan have experienced over the past century. The expansion began in the latter third of the 19th century and has continued more or less uninterrupted down to the present. This process of expansion has followed a simple rule: enrollment has been higher in virtually every year than in the year before it. Even when enrollment figures declined for a short period, they quickly regained their previous level, from which the expansion then continued. In Germany less than 0.5% of a cohort attended university in 1870, 2% in 1930, 5% in 1960, 21% in 1980, and 32% in 1992.

While the quantitative growth reflected in such figures is considerable, the expansion in educational institutions has consisted of not merely a continual increment in the number of students but also the demise of traditional institutional structures and their replacement by new ones (Chap. 4). In Germany the ever growing number of students transformed the elitist Gymnasium into a mass secondary institution, and the earlier, elitist "Humboldt" style of university has been replaced by institutions of mass higher education. Both the goals and the substance of education have also changed, as the abstract, general education of the past has given way to a practical, professionalized training oriented to the demands of the marketplace. University expansion and the process of institutional change are the twin themes of the research presented here. The rapid growth necessitated a structural change in universities, which in turn accelerated the process of expansion even further.

The social origin of students provides a third topic of analysis (Chap. 2). A university education bestows not only academic credentials but also a set of privileges and rights in society, which for groups excluded from economic and political power are indispensable for cultural and political emancipation. The social origin of students, analyzed here for the period 1887-1990, provides something of a mirror of the political struggle for access to university education. The driving force behind university expansion in Germany and other European countries are political struggles: first, that of the bourgeoisie against the aristocracy for political . . .

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