Kapazitätsplanung in gestuften
Studienstrukturen - Vergleichende Analyse des
Vorgehens in 16 Bundesländern, Arbeitspapier Nr. 89This working paper investigates how the transition to a two-cycle degree structure and the expected increase of demand for higher education in Germany due to demographic developments in conjunction with a shortening of secondary education change the procedures of capacity planning pursued in the different Länder. It asks which consequences these changes imply for the German higher education system as a whole. The study focuses on the difficult trade-off between the aim to provide sufficient capacity for undergraduate studies, the provision of attractive Master programmes, and good teacher-student ratios in both undergraduate and graduate studies. The paper also investigates in how far the transition to a two-cycle degree structure increases pressure to adjust the inherited capacity law (“Kapazitätsverordnung”) and the traditional procedures of capacity planning. It presents which solutions are considered in the 16 Länder and discusses perspectives for adjusting or overcoming the current capacity law. The paper is based on document analysis and a series of interviews with the representatives responsible for capacity planning in the ministries in charge of higher education of the 16 Länder conducted between July 2006 and January 2007. The results show that most Länder give priority to securing an adequate supply of study places for the first degree while at the same time trying to improve the quality of the student learning experience within the available scope. Only limited resources are left for Masters programmes. At the same time, most Länder are planning to introduce certain “bandwidths” into the norms that have so far standardised teacher-student ratios across degree programmes in Germany (“Curriculanormwerte”). Some also implement these “bandwidth models” already in order to give higher education institutions more leeway in curricular planning. At the same time, these reforms re-main within the framework of the inherited understanding of German capacity law; an “agreement model” which would establish a new logic of capacity planning is only seriously being envisaged by few Länder. From a steering perspective, many can imagine that a combination of student- or graduate-based funding with agreements on student or graduate numbers could replace the current capacity law. So the capacity law is currently being made more flexible. However, to enable more far-reaching reforms, an updated fundamental judgement of the Constitutional Court seems necessary. Scarcity of funding is however a limiting condition of these reform efforts: More latitude for higher education institutions in favour of higher quality of degree programmes is highly desirable, however in times of high student demand it enters into a pointed goal conflict with the aim to offer sufficient supply of study places.