• Function: Head of Higher Education Research
  • Department: CHE Centre for Higher Education
  • Phone: +49 5241 9761-23
  • E-Mail:
  • Assistance: Petra Bischof

Key activities at the CHE

  • Research projects on permeability between vocational and academic education, careers in higher education management, development of young researchers, quality management and evaluation, university governance
  • Excecution of evaluation procedures and activities as a peer
  • Teacher in advanced training courses in Higher Education Management

Higher education and apprenticeship

  • German Studies, Sociology and Education at the University of Münster (Magistra Artium)
  • PhD in Social Science on “Participative Management of Universities” at the University of Klagenfurt/Austria
  • Traineeships as newspaper editor and Consultant for systemic organisational development

Professional experience

  • Education policy editor for the Hamburg local news section of the taz (die tageszeitung) and member of the Management Board
  • Head of the Communication and Strategic University Development section at Hamburg University of Economics and Politics (HWP) and from 1997 member of its Presidential Board
  • Employed on the staff of Hamburg’s Senator for Science (Ministry of Science and Research)
  • Scientific Director of the University Development project (ProUni) at Universität Hamburg
  • Research assistant at the University Research Section of IFF (Faculty for Interdisciplinary Research and Continuing Education) in Vienna/Austria
  • Joined the CHE in 2005

Current advisory and assessor activities

  • Member of body of experts “Permeability between vocational and academic education” consisting of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft and the Association of German Architects (BDA)
  • Chair of the advisory board of the Centre for Quality Assurance (ZHQE) at the University Duisburg-Essen


  • GfHf German Association for Higher Education Research
  • CHER Consortium of Higher Education Researchers
  • DGWF German Association for University Continuing and Distance Education
  • DeGeval Association for Evaluation


Nickel, Sigrun


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