Political discourse on higher education in Denmark: from enlightened citizen to homo economicus

Ulrik Vingaard Johansen, Frederik B. Knudsen, Christian Engelbrecht Kristoffersen, Joakim Stellfeld Rasmussen, Emil Saaby Steffen, Kristian J. Sund

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The literature on higher education policy points to changes in the dominant discourse over the years. In particular, the ascendance of a discourse marked by concepts of new public management, using language inspired by neoclassical economic theory which characterizes education as a marketplace where students are customers, has led scholars to critically question the foundations of modern higher education policy. This paper uses critical discourse analysis to trace the development of higher education policy discourse in Denmark from the late 1970s until today. The authors find that the discourse has moved from a pluralistic one embracing not only the economic benefits of education, but also emphasizing on democracy, citizenship, and equality, towards a predominantly economic one, focused squarely on notions of globalization and competitiveness in a knowledge society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume42
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)264-277
Number of pages14
ISSN0307-5079
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Higher Education
  • Education policy
  • Discourse Analysis

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