Lecturer (university)

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The lecturer (formerly also known as reading master ) in the university sector is a university professor, lecturer .


Originally, Lektor was and is today in certain countries a university professor who was not a professor and does not hold a chair. The office used to be sometimes referred to as the lecture. The Anglo-Saxon term “lecturer”, which is still used today, goes back to this usage.

Outside of universities, people who taught classes but were not trained teachers were referred to as lecturers, such as pastors teaching in a high school. The term "lecturer" was to be understood in a similar way to "lecturer" today.

Religious colleges of the Dominicans and Franciscans

At the religious colleges of some orders, especially the Dominicans and Franciscans , the professors were or are referred to as lecturers (in the Middle Ages and in the early modern period also with the corresponding German word reading master ). In 1926 they joined forces in the Ordenslektorvereinigung (OLV).


Modern usage in Germany, on the other hand, is more specific. who usually teaches his own mother tongue in philological departments and courses. There are also German lecturers who, due to their qualifications (excellent foreign language skills with a corresponding academic qualification), do this job at German universities. The work of the university editor should therefore not be confused with that of the publisher , who selects manuscripts for publication and, if necessary, processes them.

At German universities, for example, French or Spanish lecturers teach Romance studies and native English speakers teach English . In addition to pure language teaching (practical language exercises), lecturers also teach literature and linguistics and give lectures on regional studies , depending on the requirements and circumstances of the university and depending on the qualifications of the lecturer . Usually the lecturer only teaches the modern language form , but in the case of some languages ​​and degree programs the lecturers specialize in historical language forms (e.g. classical or medieval Latin, ancient Greek, biblical, rabbinical, medieval Hebrew, Aramaic).

There are foundation editorships from foreign countries. German lecturers represent a special case; they are placed at foreign universities for teaching German and perform tasks similar to foreign language lecturers in Germany.

Temporary lecturers usually stay for two to four, sometimes six years at a German university and, while teaching, prepare a doctorate for their home university, for example in a literary or linguistic subject. In this case, the editing office is used as a qualification position, even if it is not equipped as such in terms of the scope of the teaching obligation: Qualification positions with always limited duration require academic employees in Germany to only teach 4 hours per week of the semester, while editing is around 17 hours.

Open-ended lectureships are expressly not set up as research positions, but are entirely or predominantly dedicated to teaching. This explains why a lecturer normally has the double teaching obligation of a professor; According to the teaching requirements, the latter gives 8 to 9 semester hours per week, a lecturer 16 to 17 (more in some federal states). The advancement of a permanent lecturer can take the form of probation advancement, which is granted after a certain number of years of successful teaching; this does not change the title or activity, but the lecturer rises to a higher salary class. Open-ended lectureships serve to guarantee the continuity of philological teaching; The lecturers organize and conduct examinations, design and optimize the structures of foreign language teaching and ensure that teaching and examination materials are properly assigned to defined learning levels. They often write textbooks and grammar books themselves.

Some of the university lecturers working in Germany are foundation lecturers ; that is, her position is funded by her home country and financed by it in order to promote knowledge of its language in Germany. The countries involved in this area are traditionally those from which large streams of immigrants have flown to Germany. For example, Italian, Portuguese and Greek foundation lectureships exist at some universities. The employment relationship of these lecturers is usually limited. They then return to their country of origin and teach there as teachers or pursue an academic career.

At some German universities, lecturing tasks are also performed by academic staff , academic councilors or student councilors in the university service. In these cases, the job description may vary and include additional tasks (e.g. in the area of ​​research or academic self-administration); for this, the teaching hours load may be reduced (e.g. to 12 or 14 semester hours per week).

German lecturers teach u. a. the DAAD at foreign universities (as well as German language assistants at foreign high schools). Other organizations such as the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Austrian State ( ÖAD ) also send lecturers who teach and promote the German language and literature abroad.

The payment in Germany generally corresponds to that of a research assistant or grammar school teacher.


In Austria there are lecturers in the tertiary education sector at universities (university lecturers), technical colleges and universities of teacher education . They hold courses to impart specialist knowledge in an area in which they have a university degree themselves. The work of lecturers is not limited to philological subjects.

In addition to a university degree, no didactic or methodical training is required. However, this can be acquired through further training. Newly hired lecturers since 2004 have been salaried employees, since that time it has no longer been possible to employ civil servants. Fixed-term contracts of four to six years are common. In principle, other fixed-term contracts or permanent positions are also possible.


In Lithuania , the lecturer is usually a high school professor at the beginning of his career who does not have a title like lecturer or professor and works at the chair or institute of a college (university or college ) and has lectures ( lessons ). A doctorate is not a prerequisite for this title. After a while, the lecturer can become docentas and then profesorius . The people in the other educational areas who hold the educational events (seminars, courses, advanced training, etc.) also refer to themselves as lecturers.

Other countries

At Scandinavian universities, a lecturer (official English name: " Associate Professor ") is a permanently employed university professor who is obliged to teach and conduct research, whose tasks also include supervising doctoral and master's students. In addition, lecturers take on functions in university self-administration, including a. as head of department, institute or dean. A Scandinavian proofreading can thus be compared with a full W2 university professorship in Germany. Lecturing is not limited to philological subjects, but occurs in all faculties. Employment as a lecturer usually requires a PhD or doctoral degree, as a rule also prior work as an adjunct ( assistant professor , corresponding to a German junior professorship). In the Anglo-Saxon area, the function corresponds to an English " lecturer ", "senior lecturer" or "professor".

At French universities, the maître de langues fulfills the function of lecturer . In other countries he is classified as a teacher or senior teacher .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Lektor  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Erich Grunert: Order readers . In: Lexicon for Theology and Church , 2nd ed. Vol. 6: Karthago - Marcellino . Herder, Freiburg 1961, column 937.
  2. Archived copy ( memento from January 25, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), [1] Cf. B. Free University of Berlin, Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf.
  3. ↑ Teaching obligation ordinance North Rhine-Westphalia
  4. ^ DAAD: Teaching Abroad
  5. Lecturer (Uni, FH, PH) . Vocational lexicon Arbeitsmarktservice Österreich
  6. ^ Denmark • European University Institute. In: www.eui.eu. Retrieved July 9, 2016 .