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. 1 Entering Academia: Career Logics in Germany NIFU Conference, Oslo 31 May 2013 Prof. Dr. Barbara M. Kehm

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Presentation on theme: ". 1 Entering Academia: Career Logics in Germany NIFU Conference, Oslo 31 May 2013 Prof. Dr. Barbara M. Kehm"— Presentation transcript:

1 . 1 Entering Academia: Career Logics in Germany NIFU Conference, Oslo 31 May 2013 Prof. Dr. Barbara M. Kehm

2 . 2 Structure of Presentation 1.Introduction 2.Status of Doctoral Candidates 3.Basic Principles of the Academic Job Market 4.The Labour Market for Young Academics 5.Contracts at Entry Level 6.Socialization into Academic Norms/Values 7.Current Situation of Junior Academics 8.Main Challenges and Future Trends

3 Introduction Entering academia in Germany is diversified and hazardous Diversified: due to several options (universities, univ. of applied sciences, extra-univ. research institutes) Hazardous: due to lack of proper and reliable career progress PhD as necessary but not sufficient requirement Status of PhD candidates: diversified (junior academic staff, contract researcher, scholarship holder, external candidate)

4 Status of Doctoral Candidates 118 universities with the right to award doctoral degrees (more than 25,000 annually, among them 44% women, 15% foreigners) No statistics of PhDs in progress; estimated to be about 200,000 in 2010 No students but more than 50% as part-time employees (research and teaching assistants) Bologna: structured doctoral programmes often adding to existing workload About 10% of the 25,000 to 26,000 completed PhDs make it into a professorship Getting tenure almost impossible below professorship

5 Basic Principles of the Academic Job Market Focus on universities: Traditional „high road“ is habilitation (second doctorate), but only eligibility, no guarantee Since 2002: junior professorship (6 years); altogether 1,200 at the end of 2010 No proper „post-doc“ phase Average age of newly recruited professors in 2010: 40.5 years Germany has an „external labour market“ (Musselin) for academics

6 . 6 Career progress/promotion can only be achieved by applying for a position at another university Basic principle of contract duration: 6 years before and 6 years after PhD, after that: up or out Alternative: contract researcher with a series of fixed-term contracts for the duration of the respective project

7 The Labour Market for Young Academics Extremely difficult to define the academic labour market in Germany in quantitative terms Between 2001 and 2010 there was an overall increase in academic staff of 31%, but: -professors: + 10% -assistants/lecturers:- 72% -junior staff (doct.):+ 54% -special teaching staff:+ 30% Increase in lower paid, less secure positions with fewer options for career progression

8 . 8 5.Contracts at Entry-Level Doctoral candidates emplyed as teaching and research assistants receive 50% to 65% contracts for 4 to 6 years (annual gross income between 19,000 and 22,000 €) Post-docs and junior professors receive 100% contracts for up to 6 years (annual gross income between 38,000 and 50,000 €) There are a number of fringe benefits and seniority levels. Performance related salary components for junior, associate, and full professors.

9 . 9 6.Socialisation into Academic Norms/Values Students by watching their professors (habitus theory of Bourdieu) but also instruction about plagiarism, academic writing, quoting and referencing Bologna process: generic skills to increase employability During doctoral and post-doc phase: increasing attention to networking, participation in international conferences, project management, publication strategies

10 Current Situation of Junior Academics In Germany the non-academic labour market is particularly open for doctoral degree holders For academic jobs there is fierce competition in some subjects while other have problems filling their vacant professorships Academic job opening must be advertised publicly (increasingly internationally as well) About 40% of doctoral degree holders end up in jobs within the higher education sector, another 15 to 17% in R&D Jobs outside academia mostly better paid

11 . 11 But: there are a number of intransparent and informal elements in academic recruitment processes that prevent reliable and clear-cut career progress Being appropriately qualified and eligible is no guarantee that one will be successful in getting a professorship in the end Best chance: trying again and again until one gets lucky

12 . 8.Main Challenges and Future Trends  Shaping the doctoral and post-doc phase has become a politcal concern in Germany  There are demands to provide more structured and systematic pathways into an academic career because the German system drives out the best talent  Currently teaching and research are heavily put on the shoulders of young, non-tenured academic staff 12

13 . Basic challenges for the future:  Creation of tenured positions below the professorship  Establishment of regular career pathways, including evaluation of performance  Abolishment of the de facto prohibition to get promoted within the same university  Reducing the impact of staff fluctuation and commuting on people‘s social and private life  Reducing the duration of the process to fill a professorship (up to 2 years) 13

14 . 14 Thank you for your attention!


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