This thesis provides insight into the changes in regulation, organisation and practise of university education in Denmark. The thesis examines the changes in the educationalstructures at The Royal Veterinarian and Agricultural University (the KVL – Den kongelige Veterinær- og Landbohøjskole) as an example of the possible. The thesis shows both the rationales of the changes and alternative rationales of regulating, organising and practise of university education. The purpose of the thesis is not only to describe the changes but also to understand and explain the dynamics of the changes. By uncovering these dynamics, the thesis shows what interests benefits from the changes. Hence, the thesis questions the present way of regulating, organising and practising university education by showing that other rationales could be taken in to onsideration. The problem of the thesis is studied by the use of two methods: qualitative interviews with agents in the field, and a historical study of the power struggles at both institutional, national and European level regarding the regulation, organisation and practise of university education. Both methods are conducted with inspiration from the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Following his approach, both the interviews and the historical study are double readings, which enable the thesis to overcome classical dichotomies in the social sciences such as subject/object, structure/agency etc. through discussions with other theoretical approaches (interactionistic and Michel Foucault) the thesis is positioned within the academic field. Following Bourdieu, the interviews are therefore conducted and analysed with a dispositional approach. Thus, the answers are not read as sociological explanations but as social explanations rooted in the social context and in the specific trajectory of the agent, and as such accounts which call for sociological explanations. Within the theoretical approach of the thesis, the interviews provide an insight into how the social conditions are seen from different points of view. Through the historicization, the change in the relation between these different points of view are studied. In order to achieve a deep insight into the historical power struggles the thesis studies, though reading of different internal magazines, how different changes have altered the relation between different positions and thereby the structure of the field as a whole. In the thesis, the interviews are presented as ‘tales’ from the field; a form of presentation inspired by the collective work “Weight of the World” (Bourdieu et al., 1999). The tales show three different points of view on the regulation, organisation and practice of the education at the KVL. These three points of view take into consideration different interests, in this thesis categorised as organisation of the education at the KVL for the good of the economy, the science or the participants. These three rationales are later found in the historicization. The economic rationale represents a view towards the organisation of the educations according to both the market and the economy of the institution. According to this, the educations should be organised in a way that secures that the students’ production is economically efficient and that the alumni can be employed. The scientific rationale represents a view towards the organisation of the education which emphasises to pass on to the students the specific scientific discipline with its inherent problems, techniques and theories. The last rationale represents a view towards the organisation of the education for the good of the participants. According to this, the educations should be organised in a way so that the students are able to acquire a critical insight into the subject according to their individual preconditions. This rationale sees the students as participants, not only in the actual learning process but also in the process of planning and organising the education activities. The three rationales are represented through the empirical analysis of the thesis. They are found in the tales and through the historicization, but represented with different strength at different times. In short, the historical development has trengthened the economic rationale to the detriment of the other rationales. This means that the educations are reorganised in order to secure an efficient production and that the KVL takes into consideration the demands from the market in reorganising the education. In this process it is important for the managers at the KVL to monitor and evaluate the education in order to secure the quality and efficiency of the production. Thereby, the reorganisation and development of the educations becomes an activity exclusive to the managers. In the period studied, the managerial organisation thus changes from a collective, democratic organisation into a hierarchical, centralised organisation and hence it becomes harder for the participants (both the students and the staff) to raise their voices in the struggles at the KVL. The result of this organisation is, that the managers are able to take the ‘necessary’ economic decisions without involving the participants – who have to live with the decisions. The dynamic of the changes However, the changes have not evolved neither by accident nor necessity. They have evolved through a long struggle between different interests and rationales, not only within the institution itself. The changes have not been imposed through large-scale political projects or through symbolical struggles, but mainly through a series of administrative changes both on a national and institutional level. So to speak, the changes at the national level have been used to strengthen specific positions in the internal institutional struggles at the KVL. In this way, the managerial or economic position at the KVL has used the external pressure in the argumentation for centralising the managerial competences into fewer hands and fewer fora. One can say that by unspoken and even unintentional alliances between the managers at the KVL and a political and bureaucratic social elite, homologue processes have centralised the power at the KVL. The causes of this process are the differences between positions in the field and the different interests constituting them. The consequence for the educations The changes in the regulation, organisation and practice of the educations at the KVL cause a change in the social functions of the educations. Now, the educations are to a higher degree servicing the market and industry rather than training skillful academics in scientific disciplines, or breaking social patterns and providing insight into different scientific problems by means of participants’ orientated education. Thus, it is becoming increasingly difficult to take the sciences and the participants into consideration in the actual planning and organisation of the educations. From the students’ point of view, the consequence of this development is that the struggles about the educational organisation are no longer a matter between the participants (students and teachers) but rather a matter highly influenced by external agents such as the state and the industry. The thesis provides insight into the struggle By pinpointing the different rationales and interests involved in the power struggle at the KVL, this thesis provides an insight which questions the present power structures at the KVL and the university education as a whole. It shows that the changes represent a specific interest but also that the changes could have had different outcome. The thesis shows that there are other interests as well to take into consideration in the regulation, organisation and the practical arrangements of the education at the KVL.
|Uddannelser||Forvaltning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||1 jun. 2007|