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Lecturers’ qualifications and activities

Neuerscheinung: Lecturers’ qualifications and activities as indicators of convergence and differentiation in the Swiss higher education system, European Journal of Higher Education. Von Carole Probst, Christian Wassmer, Sheron Baumann und Christine Böckelmann

In Switzerland, universities of applied sciences were created with a strong applied research mandate in the mid-1990s. Together with traditional universities they form a functionally differentiated higher education system consisting of equivalent but different types of institutions. The state of the differentiation is discussed controversially and there is speculation about a decreasing practical orientation of lecturers at universities of applied sciences. Through a comparative analysis of data on lecturer profiles from two different surveys, this contribution explores whether differentiation or convergence between the two types of higher education institutions can be observed.

The comparison of the lecturers’ qualifications and their activities in research and teaching shows that overall, the differentiation required by educational policy is mostly met. While traditional university lecturers have a stronger academic background and are oriented more towards research, their colleagues at universities of applied sciences accumulate considerably more practical experience and are less involved in research. However, there are indications that research at traditional universities is to a certain extent applied in its character. Also, disciplinary differences may play a stronger role in differentiation than the type of institution.

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