Comparative Governance of Higher Education Institutions in the German Federal States (VerGHiL)

Start of the project: 01-Jan-2019 - End of the project: 31-Dec-2020

A feasibility study to be carried out in 2019 and 2020 will examine whether a longer-term, comparative observation of the governance of higher education institutions is a suitable method to determine research desiderata in this field and to facilitate the identification of specific research questions. These could be, for instance, questions on the origins and effects of governance regimes, the mechanisms themselves, or questions on higher education and science research. To answer such questions, context data and text material on governance are needed. In future, we also intend to consider issues relating to international comparisons in the field of higher education governance. Data and material sources as well as suitable methods for the comparative analysis of the various subject areas within higher education governance will be examined.

In the first stage, laws regulating higher education institutions in the federal states (Landeshochschulgesetze) will be analysed to determine how the authority and power relationships between key actors in higher education governance have changed since the 1960s. Accordingly, the legal texts will be evaluated by focusing on a definable section. With the aid of computational linguistic methods, we attempt to create a basis for scaling the influence of the actors studied.

In order to identify research questions and data requirements, several workshops will be conducted as part of the project. These workshops will include the perspectives of both internal and external scientists. As a result, the project aims to provide an overview of the research landscape, a pool of current research questions in the field of higher education governance, as well as a synopsis of existing data, material sources, and data requirements. The focus is on clarifying which types of research questions could be answered based on the implementation of which type of data and methods. On the basis of existing information assets, the project will also examine possible concepts for a database with which qualitative data and documents, currently only scattered in text form, could be systematically recorded and made available for longitudinal and cross-sectional comparisons.

Lead Researcher

Eva Maria Vögtle
Dr. Eva Maria Vögtle Lead Researcher +49 511 450670-359


Dr. Axel Oberschelp Thorben Sembritzki

Press contact

Daniel Matthes
Daniel Matthes +49 511 450670-532
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