Higher Education Policy

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 195–211

Einheit von Forschung und Lehre: Implications for State Funding of Universities

  • Nicoline Frølich
  • Kelly Coate
  • Stephanie Mignot-Gerard
  • Christoph Knill

DOI: 10.1057/hep.2010.2

Cite this article as:
Frølich, N., Coate, K., Mignot-Gerard, S. et al. High Educ Policy (2010) 23: 195. doi:10.1057/hep.2010.2


The Humboldtian educational ideal is based on the idea of the unity of teaching and research in universities (Einheit von Forschung und Lehre). The role of the state, according to Humboldt, was to fund universities in such a way that their autonomy was maintained. Much has changed in the funding mechanisms of higher education systems since the time of Humboldt, and here we consider developments within France, Germany, Ireland and Norway. Recent governance and funding reforms of higher education in Europe share the Humboldtian goal of promoting the ‘very best education’ through reconfigured relationships between the state and universities. However, most reforms which have taken place (and possibly those that are about to take place, as in the case of Ireland) have developed different external mechanisms to improve quality in teaching and research. The separation of funding for teaching and research has been a predominant approach which challenges the idea of unity of teaching and research, a key element of the Humboldtian model.


humboldtbolognafundingmanagerialismuniversity governance

Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicoline Frølich
    • 1
  • Kelly Coate
    • 2
  • Stephanie Mignot-Gerard
    • 3
    • 4
  • Christoph Knill
    • 5
  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU STEP)OsloNorway
  2. 2.Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), National University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  3. 3.IAE Gustave Eiffel, Université Paris 12ParisFrance
  4. 4.Centre de Sociologie des Organisations, Sciences Po, CNRSParisFrance
  5. 5.Department of Politics and Management, University of KonstanzKonstanzGermany