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About the institute

The Bavarian State Institute for Higher Education Research and Planning (Bayerisches Staatsinstitut für Hochschulforschung und Hochschulplanung, IHF) is a research institute funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts (Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Bildung und Kultus, Wissenschaft und Kunst). It was established in 1973 by the Bavarian State to provide academic support to the expansion of higher education since the late 1960s.

Areas of activity

The IHF conducts research in fields of relevance to higher education policy and provides planning and decision support to the Bavarian higher education ministry (StMWFK), the Bavarian parliament, and higher education institutions. Consultancy and advice for the Bavarian higher education institutions is another important area of activity.

Research areas

Currently, the institute’s research can be subsumed under the following headings:

  • Governance and management of higher education institutions
  • Studies and students
  • Transitions school – higher education – work
  • Research and academic careers
  • Internationalisation and international comparisons

The activities of the institute are laid down in an annual research programme which is developed in agreement with the higher education ministry.

Mode of operation

The inter-disciplinary institute provides information and support for political decisions in higher education through applied research, including empirical research and surveys, statistical analyses and projections, conceptual work and proposals, evaluation studies, and literature reviews. It also engages in externally funded research, including the international field. The institute has 11 academic staff mainly with a background in social sciences and economics, among them several PhD students, and is linked to the LMU Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) through its academic director, Professor Hans-Ulrich Küpper. It edits a major academic higher education journal (mainly) in German language but with English abstracts for each article, the Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung, to which it welcomes international submissions.