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Wrangling for Authority (January 26, 1976)

Enacted by the federal and the state governments, the 1975 Framework Act on Higher Education was the product of reform efforts. But like the comprehensive universities [Gesamthochschulen] it envisioned, the law failed to move much beyond declarations of intent. New institutions reverted to the traditional university model, and educational pluralism in West Germany’s federal system gained further momentum.

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Framework Act for Higher Education [Hochschulrahmengesetz (HRG)]

Chapter 1
Functions of the Institutions of Higher Education

Part 1
General Provisions

[ . . . ]

Section 4
Reorganization of Higher Education

(1) The reform of higher education is the joint responsibility of the institutions of higher education and the responsible government authorities.

(2) The higher education system shall be reorganized with a view to combining the research, teaching, and study-related tasks presently performed by different types of institutions of higher education.

(3) In particular, the reorganization shall guarantee:

1. a range of sequential, interrelated courses of study and [the granting of] corresponding degrees in the appropriate fields; common study modules or successive courses shall be created to the extent that the course contents allow;
2. a structure of courses that will allow for the greatest possible transfer of credits for completed coursework and successful examinations when a student transfers between courses in the same or a related field of study;
3. a combination of theoretical and practical studies to the extent appropriate for each course of study;
4. the establishment and implementation of interdisciplinary and cross-institutional research and teaching programs, and the establishment of focal points in research and teaching, also in conjunction with other research and educational institutions and with organizations concerned with the advancement of research;
5. the subject-specific and interdisciplinary promotion of higher education didactics;
6. effective academic advising services;
7. the optimum use of higher education institutions;
8. the provision of research opportunities for professors at institutions of higher education where those opportunities do not exist or are insufficient for the fulfillment of their professional duties;
9. coherent planning for the higher education sector as a whole and a balanced distribution of institutions of higher education, both regionally and nationally.

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