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Academic Freedom in England and Germany: A Comparative Perspective

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This article examines the nature of academic freedom in England and Germany. Academic freedom here refers to the intellectual independence of academics to decide on the content, organisation and dissemination of knowledge. The article begins by exploring ways in which universities in several countries are being ‘framed’ within markets, and their emerging consequences for academic freedom. In this article it is argued that what is happening in a number of countries is not so much a decline in academic freedom, but a loss in institutional autonomy. It is suggested that career pressures to be promoted – as currently can be seen in England, and elsewhere – may lead to ‘corruption’ by academics, who avoid certain topics, and focus on politically correct issues, and who, in the neo-liberal climate, are reluctant to criticise the state.
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Keywords: England; Germany; academic freedom; academic promotion; comparative education; globalisation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of London, Institute of Education

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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  • World Studies in Education is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal offering a global overview of significant international and comparative education research. Its focus is on educational reforms and policy affecting institutions in the global economy.
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