The Relevance of the Academy

  • William K. CummingsEmail author
  • Ulrich Teichler
Part of the The Changing Academy – The Changing Academic Profession in International Comparative Perspective book series (CHAC, volume 13)


At the turn of the twenty-first century, frequent and profound questions are being raised concerning the purposes and accomplishments of contemporary higher education and learning. We note a lively debate on the current issues and on the future of higher education in the public policy domain, within the higher education system, and among researchers specialized on higher education as their theme of inquiry. In order to synthesize the state of knowledge and to identify key issues that deserve more attention in future analysis, an international conference “Changing Conditions and Changing Approaches of Academic Work” was held on 4–6 June 2012 in Berlin. The conference brought together more than 200 experts from more than 40 countries—among them many who had been active in research on the academic profession. The coordinators of the conference came to the conclusion that a few themes were frequently touched upon by the various contributions to the conference that might deserve special attention. These eventually were reflected in the titles of two books comprising the major contributions, i.e. “Relevance of Academic Work in Comparative Perspective” (this book) and “Recruiting and Managing the Academic Profession”.

This book addresses relevance in higher education primarily from the point of view of academics. Many contributions of this books draw from surveys aimed at understanding how academics perceive societal expectations and how they define themselves and their tasks. Their views are highly interesting in this domain, because on the one hand societal expectations as regards higher education have become quite explicit and pressing in recent years and the academics, on the other hand, have enormous room for maneuvers in reflecting on the objectives and in shaping the priorities of their professional work.


High Education Academic Freedom High Education System High Education Research Societal Expectation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Education and HDGeorge Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.International Centre for Higher Education ResearchUniversity of KasselKasselGermany

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