"The European University in an Age of Academic Capitalism“ with Richard Münch

New Public Management has been the dominant approach for governing higher education and research in Europe and beyond. As a consequence, universities have become entrepreneurs in an international market, competing for students, grants and recognition in rankings. State bureaucracies, private funding agencies, the European Union and managers within universities have developed policies for achieving excellence and maximizing output on the basis of measurable indicators that are designed to inform the allocation of funds and the promotion of researchers.

However, to what extent have these policies been successful? What have been unintended consequences? What kind of research and what kind of researcher flourishes under the neoliberal approach and what do we lose by embracing this governing philosophy?

As a professor of sociology at the University of Bamberg and, since 2016, the Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Richard Münch has been critically analyzing the effects of neoliberal governance on research and on the career patterns of researchers. His book ‘Academic capitalism. Universities in the Global Struggle for Excellence’ (Routledge 2013) has become a standard reference in debates about the future of universities.


Richard Münch’s talk will take place on Wednesday, 11 December at 15.30 and in HG-02A36. The event is sponsored by VICES, the VU Interdisciplinary Centre for European Studies.

Please sign up for the event here.