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European Universities from the Enlightenment to 1914$
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R. D. Anderson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206606.001.0001

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Germany and the Humboldtian Model

Germany and the Humboldtian Model

(p.51) 4 Germany and the Humboldtian Model
European Universities from the Enlightenment to 1914

R. D. Anderson

Oxford University Press

The University of Berlin, founded in 1810 under the influence of Wilhelm von Humboldt, is traditionally seen as the model institution of the 19th century. In fact the German system emerged from innovations both before and after 1810. Its features included the unity of teaching and research, the pursuit of higher learning in the philosophy faculty, freedom of study for students (Lernfreiheit, contrasted with the prescriptive curricula of the French system), the educational ideal of Bildung based on neo-humanist admiration for ancient Greece, corporate autonomy for universities despite their funding by the state, and the notion of academic freedom. The group of reformers in Prussia included philosophers like Fichte and Schleiermacher as well as Humboldt, and Berlin University was a focus of national cultural revival. The German model had a profound influence throughout central, eastern, and northern Europe.

Keywords:   Germany, Prussia, Berlin, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Fichte, Schleiermacher, neo-humanism, Bildung

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