North Rhine-Westphalia

Recent developments:

  • Executive heads now appointed by ministry
  • More detailed legal guidance on university senates
  • Tuition fees were abolished in 2011 for all students at all levels
  • Shift to ‘system accreditation’ with institutions able to accredit their own study programmes if their institutional systems are assessed positively

Organisational autonomy: medium high

The executive head is elected internally and appointed by the ministry; the minimum length of their terms of office is stated in the law together with the procedure for their dismissal. University boards/councils are either half or fully composed of external members who are approved both by the senate and the ministry.

Financial autonomy: medium low

Universities can borrow money up to a certain percentage and keep surpluses. They cannot own buildings and are no longer allowed to charge tuition fees as they were abolished in 2011.

Academic autonomy: high

Universities negotiate with an external authority on overall student numbers. At Bachelor level admission criteria are co-regulated by universities and an external authority. At Bachelor and Master levels all new degree programmes must be submitted to a prior accreditation or self-accredited by the university. Universities can choose among quality assurance providers. They may design the content of their academic programmes without constraints and can choose the language of instruction.

Staffing autonomy: medium high

There are restrictions on the recruitment of senior academic staff as the selection procedure is specified in the law. Senior academic staff salaries are restricted due to an overall limit on all staff payments and senior administrative staff salary bands are negotiated with other parties. Dismissals for both academic and administrative staff are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for all staff and there are restrictions on promotions for both groups of staff based on age.

Organisational weighted 68% unweighted 69%

0

0% Selection procedure for the executive head

The selection of the executive head is validated by an external authority

87

87% Selection criteria for the executive head

Other restrictions

This applies to 4 other countries: Brandenburg, Hesse, Hungary, Serbia

80

80% Dismissal of the executive head

Other restrictions

This applies to 7 other countries: Austria, Hesse, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovenia

60

60% Term of office of the executive head

The minimum length is stated in the law

This applies to one other country: Sweden

57

57% External members in university governing bodies

Universities cannot decide as they must include external members

Other appointment process

This applies to 2 other countries: Flanders, Ireland,

100

100% Capacity to decide on academic structures

Universities can decide on their academic structures without constraints

100

100% Capacity to create legal entities

Universities can create legal entities without constraints

Financial weighted 43% unweighted 31%

60

60% Length of public funding cycle

100

100% Type of public funding

Block grant and there are no restrictions on the allocation of funding

80

80% Ability to borrow money

Universities can borrow money up to a maximum percentage

This applies to 4 other countries: Brandenburg, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia

100

100% Ability to keep surplus

Surplus can be kept without restrictions

0

0% Ability to own buildings

Universities are not allowed to own their buildings

This applies to 6 other countries: Brandenburg, Hesse, Hungary, Lithuania, Serbia, Sweden

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Bachelor level

There are no tuition fees

This applies to 11 other countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hesse, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Master's level

There are no tuition fees

This applies to 11 other countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hesse, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at doctoral level

There are no tuition fees

This applies to 10 other countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hesse, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Bachelor level

There are no tuition fees

This applies to 3 other countries: Brandenburg, Hesse, Norway

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Master's level

There are no tuition fees

This applies to 3 other countries: Brandenburg, Hesse, Norway

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at doctoral level

There are no tuition fees

This applies to 6 other countries: Brandenburg, Denmark, Finland, Hesse, Norway, Sweden

Staffing weighted 63% unweighted 62%

83

83% Recruitment procedures for senior academic staff

Recruitments are carried out freely by universities

Other restrictions

100

100% Recruitment procedures for senior administrative staff

Recruitments are carried out freely by universities

67

67% Salaries for senior academic staff

The decision on individual staff salaries is restricted due to an overall limit for all staff payments

This applies to 3 other countries: Brandenburg, Flanders, Hesse,

Salary bands are prescribed by an external authority for some staff

This applies to 2 other countries: Brandenburg, Hesse,

67

67% Salaries for senior administrative staff

Salary bands are negotiated with other parties

This applies to 6 other countries: Brandenburg, Finland, Hesse, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway

20

20% Dismissal of senior academic staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 6 other countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Ireland, Portugal, Serbia

20

20% Dismissal of senior administrative staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for some staff

This applies to 6 other countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Ireland, Portugal, Spain

71

71% Promotion procedures for senior academic staff

Other restrictions

This applies to 7 other countries: Denmark, France, Wallonia, Hesse, Hungary, Ireland, Italy,

71

71% Promotion procedures for senior administrative staff

Other restrictions

This applies to 9 other countries: Denmark, France, Wallonia, Hesse, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia

Academic weighted 88% unweighted 87%

60

60% Overall student numbers

Universities negotiate with an external authority

This applies to 10 other countries: Brandenburg, Denmark, Finland, Hesse, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

60

60% Admissions procedures at Bachelor level

Admission criteria are co-regulated by an external authority and universities

This applies to 11 other countries: Brandenburg, Croatia, Denmark, Hesse, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden

100

100% Admissions procedures at Master's level

Admission criteria are set by the university

60

60% Introduction of programmes at Bachelor level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be introduced

This applies to 9 other countries: Flanders, Wallonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia

60

60% Introduction of programmes at Master's level

All new degree programmes/courses must be submitted to prior accreditation to be introduced

This applies to 9 other countries: Flanders, Wallonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia

100

100% Introduction of programmes at doctoral level

Universities can open degree programmes without prior accreditation

100

100% Termination of degree programmes

Universities can terminate degree programmes independently

100

100% Language of instruction at Bachelor level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

100

100% Language of instruction at Master's level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

100

100% Selection of quality assurance mechanisms

Universities can select quality assurance mechanisms freely according to their needs

This applies to 2 other countries: Brandenburg, Hesse,

100

100% Selection of quality assurance providers

Universities can choose the quality assurance agency freely according to their needs (including agencies from other countries)

This applies to 7 other countries: Austria, Brandenburg, Estonia, Finland, Hesse, Hungary, Switzerland

100

100% Capacity to design content of degree programmes

Universities can freely design the content of degree programmes and courses (other than for the regulated professions)