Former Senior Professor of Higher Education Management and Policy
Osnabrueck University

Dr Rainer Kuenzel graduated as Diplom-Volkswirt (equivalent to a master's degree in Economics) at the Freie Universitaet Berlin in 1967 and received his doctorate in Economics in 1974. In 1976, he was hired as a Professor of Economics by Osnabrueck University (UOS). His research interests ranged from theoretical models of multi-sector production, pricing, and growth to the "political economy" of long-term fluctuations of economic growth resulting from the interaction of social, political, and economic factors.

Dr Kuenzel was elected Vice President of the UOS in 1987. Upon nomination by the Academic Senate, he was appointed President of the UOS by the Minister/State Secretary of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs of the Federal State of Lower Saxony in 1990. He was re-elected/re-appointed twice and retired from office in 2004. During his presidency of the UOS, he was elected twice as the Chairman of the Association of University Presidents of the Federal State of Lower Saxony from 1993 to 1998. On the national level, he served as a Senate member of the Association of Rectors and Presidents of Higher Education Institutions in Germany from 1990 to 2004 and was the Vice President of the Association from 1994 to 2000.

Dr Kuenzel became involved in the first European project on quality assessment in teaching and learning in 1994/95 as Germany's representative in the steering group. He co-founded the first quality assurance agency in the German higher education system, the Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency, Hannover (ZEvA). He served ZEvA as its Academic Director from 2001 to 2013. Upon his initiative, a Scientific Commission was created in 1997 for the purpose of periodically assessing the organisations and quality of the research carried out in the state universities and in the publicly-funded research institutes of the Federal State of Lower Saxony. He represented the (then) six independent German Quality Assurance Agencies in the German Accreditation Council from 2005 to 2009. He has also represented ab initio the German system of quality assurance in higher education in the respective organisations at European level. With special permission by the state authorities, he continued to work beyond retiring age as Senior Professor of Economics in the area of Higher Education Management and Policy until 2014.

In addition, Dr Kuenzel has been serving to date as an advisor to several state and national governments in Germany and abroad and has taken part in quality audits of many European and Non-European universities. His publications have covered a broad range of issues in higher education management, policy, and quality assurance.