26.02.2019 16:17

Special Issue of Higher Education Policy on 20 years of Quality Assurance in German Higher Education appeared

The mini special issue edited by Christian Schneijderberg on “Taking Account of 20 years of Quality Assurance in German Higher Education” provides insights into research on the consequences of political higher education quality reforms in Germany.

The four papers presented in this mini special issue address very different aspects of the German higher education accreditation regime. The empirically detectable consequences studied in the contributions are diverse: Schneijderberg and Steinhardt ( did a normative coding of the multiple versions of accreditation criteria to show how criteria for the standardization of the organization of studies and teaching, and HEI quality management are reduced under political pressures, such as the collective protest by the rectors’ conference and student protests. Baumann and Krücken ( focus on events and present documented evidence about academic resistance, which challenges the internal and external legitimacy of HEAR. Lust, Huber, and Junne ( present an interview study about how professors use academic identity claims as a means to resist managerial changes pursued by HEAR and other quality assurance mechanisms. How quality managers deal with the resistance of academics is presented in the quantitative study by Reith and Seyfried (

The special issue contains (among others):

Schneijderberg, Christian: Research Concerning Quality Assurance as Research on the Consequences of Political Reforms. Editorial, pp. 1–3. DOI: 10.1057/s41307-018-00131-z.

Schneijderberg, Christian; Steinhardt, Isabel: Accreditation of X Qualities Instead of Quality X: A Normative Analysis of Criteria of the German Higher Education Accreditation, pp. 5–28. DOI: 10.1057/s41307-018-0111-y.

Baumann, Janosch; Krücken, Georg: Debated Legitimacy: Accreditation in German Higher Education, pp. 29–48. DOI: 10.1057/s41307-018-0120-x.

Lust, Michael; Huber, Christiane, Junne, Jaromir: Academic Identity as a Discursive Resource for Resistance: The Case of Quality Management in German Higher Education Institutions, pp. 49–69. DOI:10.1057/s41307-018-0116-6

Reith, Florian; Seyfried, Markus: Balancing the Moods: Quality Managers’ Perceptions and Actions Against Resistance, pp. 71–91; DOI: 10.1057/s41307-018-0124-6