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Process of the Shaping the Idea of the German Modern University
The purpose of this paper is to discuss on the shaping the idea of the German modern university. The memorandum with the title "Über die innere und äussere Organisation der höheren wissenschaftlichen Anstalten in Berlin" is well known as the origin of the idea of the modern university. This memorandum was written by Wilhelm von Humboldt, and was found by Bruno Gebhardt at the archive of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin. He wrote "Wilhelm von Humboldt als Staatsmann" in 1896 and quated Humboldt's memorandum in it. Today it is said that the idea of the modern university by Humboldt was unknown in the 19th century, and the impact of his idea to the higher education all over the world is believed to be a mith.
However, it is certain that Humboldt's idea existed and was known to his contemporaries. Wilhelm Dieterici wrote a report whose title was "Geschichtliche und statistische Nachrichten über die Universitäten im preussischen Staate". This report was published in 1836. He said that Humboldt drafted a complete plan for the founding of the University of Berlin on May 12 1809. Humboldt intended to make a influential studium generale for German nation. This fact was reffered in the publications by Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Koch and Gustav Schlesier in the first half of the century.
Humboldt's memorandum is known as the plan for the establishment of the University of Berlin. But it must be the plan for the reorganisation of the Academy of Sciences Berlin. Just before the establishment of the University of Berlin, Alexander von Humboldt drafted a new statute of the Academy of Sciences Berlin. It contained a regulation that scientific research was the matter of the academy, teaching and spread of sciences were the matters of the university. Then W. v. Humboldt worked out a plan to transfer the research function from the academy to the university. As the result, the main duty of the Academy of Sciences Berlin was changed to the judgment of the activities of researchers.
Friedrich Paulsen wrote an article whose title was "Wesen und geschichtliche Entwicklung der deutschen Universitäten". This article was contained in Lexis' "Die Deutschen Universitäten". This book was published in 1893 for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Though Paulsen did not know the Humboldt's memorandum, he discussed the character of the German universities. He pointed out the nature of a German university that it was at once a workshop of the scientific research, and an institution for the highest scientific instruction. He could find out the character of German universities through the comparative study of English, French and German institutions.
Paulsen published "Die deutsche Universitäten und das Universitätsstudium" in 1902. He reffered Humbolds's plan in it. He said "I cannot refrain from quoting a few sentences from the sketch of a memorial address in which Wilhelm von Humboldt, on assuming office, outlined his conception of the principles that should control the organization of a university". In this way the shaping of Humboldt's idea completed.
This result will explain some questions on higher education well, for example on the introduction of the German university model to Japanese higher education at the beginning of the last century.
Copyright (c) 2011 Author(s)