Uddannelse - Et Rationelt Valg?

Christian Engelbrecht Kristoffersen, Emil Saaby Steffen, Frederik Bo Knudsen, Joakim Stellfeld Rasmussen & Ulrik Vingaard Johansen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Abstract: Education: A Rational Choice? The purpose of this study is to examine the role played by economic rationales in the formulation of Danish education policy since 1978. The first part of the study uses the method of critical discourse analysis on seven different policy plans which deal with the objectives of education. The study analyses both policy plans from the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Finance. It employs a methodology inspired by Siegfried Jäger in which the education policy plans represent the hegemonic education discourse, as the government exercises executive power in this area. The research is focused on the importance of five thematic strings in each of the plans. The themes are economic rationales, individualization, globalization, democracy, and equality. The first part concludes that in the earlier plans democracy and equality plays a more important role, whereas in newer plans the predominant strings are individualization, globalization, and economic rationales. Furthermore the newer plans are characterized by an entanglement of the strings so that individualization, globalization, and economic rationales complement each other. This entanglement can be described as an marketization of the educational discourse. The second part of the study searches for economic and political factors that could have influenced this change in discourse. It finds that global competitiveness and its consequences have put pressure on Denmark as a nation state. Therefore Danish governments increase their focus on education which is also seen as an investment in human capital. This strategy is meant to secure Denmark’s position on the global market as a knowledge-based economy with a big service sector. Also it is concluded that the idea of new public management influences the organization of the educational institutions and is widely acknowledged as a very cost-effective way of governing in a global market. In the end the study tries to put its findings into perspective by discussing the consequences of the current educational discourse. It questions whether the idea of Denmark as a knowledge-based economy is a sustainable vision or more focus should be put on the industrial sector of the economy. The study underlines that knowledge and industrial production has to be combined in order to maintain both knowledge-based and manufacturing jobs. It questions the expansion of the labor force through more education and the influence of new public management on the education sector.

UddannelserBasis - Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato28 jan. 2014
VejledereKristian J. Sund


  • Uddannelsespolitik
  • Siegfried Jäger
  • New Public Management
  • Kritisk Diskursanalyse
  • Edukativ Diskurs