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Lecture by and discussion with Peter Coaldrake, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of Queensland University of Technology

University rankings have become increasingly influential and affect both internal policies as well as internationalization processes. The growing competition for students as well as a heightened emphasis on reputational standing is accelerating this significance.

However, the willingness of many universities to strategize with rankings raises issues of institutional autonomy: Who is defining higher education quality on what principles and criteria? Are the measures to improve ranking results also having an effect on educational outcomes? Moreover one might ask, if rankings even foster a higher education model that may be at odds with the wider needs of society.

Australia has a mature university system that has not seen major changes in the policy environment for several years. It is not formally stratified, but in practice there are significant differences in research income and performance among institutions.

Peter Coaldrake will analyze the pursuit of differentiation and competitive advantage in the case of Australia. After his keynote, Professor Jürgen Mlynek, former president of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin), will discuss this development from the German perspective. Professor Günter Stock, Chair of the Executive Board of the Einstein Foundation Berlin, will moderate the event.

Peter Coaldrake

Professor Peter Coaldrake is Vice-Chancellor and President of Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He is chair of the governing board of the OECD’s higher education program and earlier in his career spent four years as Chair of Queensland’s Public Sector Management Commission.

Professor Coaldrake is a dual Fulbright Scholar and co-author of several publications about the Australian scientific landscape.

Discussant: Jürgen Mlynek

Jürgen Mlynek was President of the HU Berlin from 2000 - 2005 and President of the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, Germany's largest research organization, from 2005 - 2015. Since 2015 he has been Professor for nano-optics at the Institute of Physics at HU Berlin.

Professor Mlynek is the author of about 240 scientific articles and has been awarded with several prizes and honors such as the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis and the Officer ́s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Einstein meets...

In this series of events, the Einstein Foundation Berlin meets prominent dialogue partners of Berlin-based or international institutions.

Time and Date

5th September 2016, 6 pm


Einstein Hall
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Jägerstraße 22/23
10117 Berlin