Academic travel, university jubilees, and the nationalization of German universities, 1911-1912

Authors: Heike Joens*, Loughborough University, Dean W Bond, Loughborough University
Topics: Historical Geography, Higher Education, Europe
Keywords: academic travel, jubilees, universities, nationalisation, Europe
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Virginia C, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the long 19th century, the celebration of university jubilees served important political, religious, cultural, and academic interests that contributed in manifold ways to both the nationalization and internationalization of science and higher education (Anderson 2011). Academic ceremonies brought together representatives from universities and scientific institutions near and afar, as well as from the worlds of politics, business, and culture, therefore providing university academics with convenient opportunities for international and intersectoral networking (Dhondt 2011, 2014). This paper tells the story how a national identity among German universities was reinforced in the years before the First World War through the realization that the delegates from German universities outnumbered all other European university delegations and their congratulatory addresses at both the first centenary of the Royal Frederick University in Kristiania and the quincentenary of the University of St Andrews, held within one week in early September 1911. Consequently, 21 German universities coordinated themselves less than a year later, when conveying their felicitations with one voice, as Universitates Germaniae, to the Royal Society in London at the occasion of its 250th anniversary as a chartered institution.

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