Statement & Presentation Prof. Josef Zechner
Many are complaining that Humboldt’s ideal of a university characterized by unity between research and teaching has been lost. I disagree. Obviously, in our knowledge society, where a significant percentage of each age-group goes to university, one cannot teach students in the same way one did when approximately one percent went to university. Our situation requires more diversity across universities and within universities.
But, at least for internationally leading universities, integrating teaching and research will become even more relevant than it was in the past. First, universities with leading researchers can more credibly promise their students to provide them with a comparative advantage by equipping them with the most advanced knowledge and methods. And second, research output is more easily observable and measurable than is teaching quality. Thus, it emerges as the major dimension on which universities compete globally and can serve as a coordination device for students. This development is driven by the students’ quest to obtain a university degree that represents a big, globally accepted brand.