The Bayerische Staatsinstitut für Hochschulforschung und Hochschulplanung (IHF; Bavarian State Institute for Higher Education Research and Planning) is a research institution of the Free State of Bavaria. In accordance with its ordinance of establishment, its purpose is to develop and improve higher education in Bavaria. The IHF engages in practice-oriented, empirical higher education research and carries out research projects and surveys according to scientific quality standards.
The institute is directly subordinate to the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts. Its work is scientifically autonomous and is oriented to the scientific quality standards of higher-educational and scientific research as well as to the constitutionally guaranteed freedom in science and research. For all stakeholders and other interested parties, this autonomy ensures that decisions are based on objective criteria. The scientific foundations of the research are a crucial factor that ensures evidence-based knowledge generation and provision for higher education institutions, higher education policy and the public.
The IHF communicates and maintains close relations with higher education institutions, practitioners of higher education and non-university research facilities. Important functions of the institute are transferring scientific knowledge and methods to higher education practitioners as well as providing policy advice. It makes use of targeted public relations work, publications and presentations as well as scientific conferences and colloquia.
The applied research at the IHF includes basic research, evaluation research and implementation research. One of the challenges is to create an evidence-based foundation for knowledge as well as to relate quickly obtainable new knowledge and competences to long-term questions. The institute also aims to involve users and instigate knowledge transfer.
On the one hand, the IHF is part of the scientific community and uses the results of its research for contributions to national and international scientific discourse. On the other hand, it uses its data and analyses to support science and higher education administration. It aims to combine application- and problem-oriented research of practical relevance with research that is oriented to national and international standards, while taking international benchmarks of method development into account.
The core tasks referred to are processed in the following areas of research
- Governance and strategic planning
- Studies, students, study termination (drop-outs) and digitisation in teaching
- Transitions between higher education institutions and the labour market
- Professors and young scientists
At the IHF, scientists from different disciplines work on extensive and complex research projects.