Historical Social Research

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HSF 13: The Transformation of Higher Learning 1860-1930

Konrad H. Jarausch (Hrsg.): The Transformation of Higher Learning 1860-1930: Expansion, Diversification, Social Opening and Professionalization in England, Germany, Russia and the United States. HSF 13 (1982).

"The debate about the current (or perhaps perennial) crises of higher education suffers from a lack of temporal and comparative perspective. Concerned with solving immediate policy problems, scholars and administrators tend to argue as if their present predicaments were unique. However academic unemployment, curricular disintegration, inequality of opportunity and vocationalism are neither particularly new nor limited to the United States. While the pas cannot merely be used as a quarry for building blocks for the future, and comparisons, if superficial, mislead more than enlighten, both can provide a clearer awareness of the dynamics of change which underlie some of the recent difficulties. Although the last great upheaval which produced mass higher education has dwarfed all previous development, many of its problems of size, institutional structure, social composition and professional orientation have resulted from the prior change from a traditional to a modern system around the turn of the century. Hence a closer look at the patterns, causes and consequences of that transformation of higher learning in the West suggests a broader as well as a longer view on the antecedents of the recent malaise and a more critical sense of the connection between education and social change. The present volume attempts to build upon the new social history of higher education." "Therefore this volume employs a cooperative approach, which attempts close coordination, seeks to present some primary statistics and tries to provide an interdisciplinary historical perspective. By concentrating on four important countries such as Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States as well as on four overriding topics such as expansion, diversification, social opening and professionalisation, it focuses both on the common dynamics of the transformation and individual national peculiarities."