The Academic Profession in Europe: Reponses to Societal Challenges



  • 2009 - 2013


  • Europen Science Foundation/DFG

The EUROAC project aims at establishing how the academic profession perceives, interprets and “digests” recent changes in its societal environment and the organizational fabric of higher education systems. As regards the former, attention will be paid notably to the growing relevance of knowledge, diversification and internationalization. For the latter, groups of Individual and Associated Projects in eight countries will explore the impact of changes in government, management and evaluation, changing academic career settings, and professionalization. This is both within academic roles and through modes of interaction and division of labor between new higher education professionals and the academic profession. 

Up to now, two edited volumes publications have been publishedin the series The Changing Academic Profession (Springer):

  • Teichler, Ulrich; Höhle, Ester Ava (eds.): The Work Situation of the Academic Profession in Europe: Findings of a Survey in Twelve Countries.Dordrecht: Springer 2013.
  • Kehm, Barbara M. und Teichler, Ulrich (eds.): The Academic Profession in Europe. New Tasks and New Challenges.Dordrecht: Springer 2013.

Other publications that were published as part of EUROAC and the CAP project can be found here.

Research questions are

  1. Relevance of knowledge: How do academics perceive and interpret the strive for knowledge in higher education? What challenges do they note to the (re-)definition of their own status, role and career?
  2. Diversification: What do the growing variety of functions expected to be taken up by higher education and the increasingly diverse spread of institutional responses mean for the individual (national) project? Do these trends foster new divisions of work, segmented career paths and professional identities?
  3. Internationalization: How do academics deal with growing international cooperation and competition? How does the individual (national) project see itself being affected by these changes beyond a mere increase in international activities?
  4. Governance: Is there a weakening of academic self-regulation and decision-making powers through strengthened leadership and external stakeholder guidance?


The study consists of two broad surveys: a quantitative online-survey and semi-structured interviews which shall use the results of the preceding study and focus on special topics in depth. Employees, researchers, teachers working at research institutions (universities, universities of applied sciences as well as non-university research organizations) will be interviewed. A quantitative survey that explored the academic profession was first launched in 1992, the „Carnegie Survey of the Academic profession”. In 2007 the topic was re-launched, enhanced by a more complex structure and more current topics: the ”Changing Academic Profession” Survey (CAP). The EUROAC study is a follow-up project, focusing on European aspects. It consists of two broad surveys: a quantitative online-survey and semi-structured interviews European data of the CAP-study (DE, FI, IT, NO, PT, GB participating) together with further 7 European countries (RO, AT, CH, IE, HR, PL, FI) will bring out the EUROAC dataset, a large 12-country European data set with a high number of respondents. This will be the largest and most systematic European dataset on the academic profession.

The topics are:

A – Career and Professional Situation
B – General Work Situation and Activities
C – Teaching
D – Research
E – Management

Semi-structured interviews shall scrutinize these topics more closely. In addition, each national project extends one of the topics and focuses e.g. on Managerialism, Civic Mission, New professionals or Academic markets and careers.

Nach oben

Papers and Literature of the Conference "Changing Academic Work" in Berlin, 4. – 6. June 2012