Intellectual inbreeding or academic inbreeding is the practice in academia of a university hiring its own graduates to be professors. It is generally viewed as insular and unhealthy for academia.[1] Intellectual inbreeding is thought to reduce the possibility of new ideas coming in from outside sources, just as genetic inbreeding reduces the possibility of new genes entering into a population.[2]

According to the Commission on Graduate Education in Economics (COGEE), they recognize it as "a trend for emulation rather than diversification." Academic inbreeding has also been cited as a major problem in the major universities of the People's Republic of China—such as Peking University and Tsinghua University, which have adopted measures in recent years specifically to combat the practice[1][3]—and South Korea.[4] A relevant study[5] also exists that analyzes the issue by considering Russia and Portugal as examples.


  1. ^ a b Shih Choon Fong (27 October 2003). "State of the University Address". National University of Singapore. Archived from the original on December 27, 2003. Retrieved 25 December 2008.
  2. ^ Kornguth, ML; Miller MH (1985). "Academic inbreeding in nursing: intentional or inevitable?". Journal of Nursing Education. 24 (1): 21–24. PMID 2981989.
  3. ^ "Beijing University: an Ivory Tower in Change". 11 July 2003. Archived from the original on 20 September 2004. Retrieved 25 December 2008.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) ()
  4. ^ "Academic Inbreeding Attacked". Science. 282 (5397): 2165. 18 December 1998. doi:10.1126/science.282.5397.2165c. Retrieved 25 December 2008.
  5. ^ Horta, Hugo; Yudkevich, Maria (Dec 2016). "The role of academic inbreeding in developing higher education systems: Challenges and possible solutions". Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 113: 363–372. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2015.06.039. ISSN 0040-1625.