american dream?
career paths in higher education.

3 Nov


Photograph by Vinícius Serafim

What can we learn from science policy in other countries? Are they facing similar challenges? Are they able to deal with some of these challenges more efficiently? We will discuss that at the 13th Meeting of the ID-E that is part of the Berlin Science Week. Join us!

When: Monday, Nov 7th 2016, 10 am to 8 pm

Where: Embassy of Canada to Germany, Leipziger Platz 17, 10117 Berlin

Registration: Attendance is free but requires registration beforehand


My Abstract

Young academics in Germany are faced with a tremendous lack of promising career prospects within academia resulting in much more feelings of job insecurity compared to other countries (Friesenhahn & Beaudry, Global Young Academy, 2014). Thus, there is much to learn from those who offer by far better academic career prospects:

(1) Germany needs more professors. Here, we have a high number of pre- and postdocs with a temporary contract and a small number of professors with tenure or tenure track. Contrary to most other countries, this results in many highly qualified young scientists with no perspective for an enduring job within academia (Specht, Endesfelder, Erb, Hof, Pernice et al., Die Junge Akademie, 2016).

(2) Germany needs an improved tenure track system. The Juniorprofessur was initially introduced in Germany based on the idea of assistant professorships in other countries. However, contrary to assistant professorships, a tenure track option can only be found in a negligible fraction of these Juniorprofessuren (Schularick, Specht, Baumbach et al., Die Junge Akademie, 2015). The new Nachwuchspakt that aims at implementing 1,000 new tenure track professorships will hopefully start to change that soon.

(3) Germany needs a modern department structure. In contrast to most other countries, there is a strong hierarchy within departments with few chairs and many subordinate research assistants in Germany. This personal structure could, with no costs, be changed to a department structure with a larger number of autonomous professors that have equal rights and share the large number of responsibilities (Menke, Schularick, Baumbach et al., Die Junge Akademie, 2013).


Logo ID-E Berlin

ID-E Berlin International Dialogue on Education is a joint initiative of the British Council Germany, the German Academic Exchange Service, the German-American Fulbright Commission, the Australian Group of Eight, the Embassy of Canada to Germany and the Freie Universität Berlin. It offers a platform for international participants to discuss science policy.