Professor of Higher Education Management and Policy
University of Osnabrueck

Dr Rainer Kuenzel graduated as Diplom-Volkswirt (equivalent to a master's degree in Economics) at Freie Universitaet Berlin (FUB) in 1967 and received his doctorate in economics in 1974. In 1976 he became Professor of Economic Theory at University of Osnabrueck (UOS). His research interests ranged from theoretical models of multi-sector production, pricing, and growth to the "political economics" 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 September 2004. During his presidency of the UOS Dr Kuenzel was elected twice as Chairman of the Association of University Presidents of the Federal State of Lower Saxony (1993-1998). On the national level he served as Senate member of the Association of Rectors and Presidents of Higher Education Institutions in Germany (HRK) from 1990 to 2004 and was elected and re-elected Vice President of the Association for the periods 1994/1997 and 1997/2000.

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 (WKN) was created in 1997 for the purpose of periodically assessing the organization 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. Dr Kuenzel represented the (then) six independent German Quality Assurance Agencies in the German Accreditation Council (AR) from 2005 to 2009. He has also represented ab initio the German system of quality assurance in higher education in the respective organizations at European level (ENQA, ECA).

In addition to these activities 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.