23 SES 17 A, ‘Unity in Diversity’ in European H.E. Policies, Dominant Political Rationalities and (re)Articulations in Specific National Contexts
This paper argues that there is a mismatch between the rhetoric of EU policy in relation to higher education (HE) and the European Higher Education Area and the re-articulation of HE policy at the level of the nation-state. In particular, it argues that HE policy is re-articulated through a politics of belonging (Yuval-Davis, 2006). The paper examines the tensions between three political rationalities as they apply to Danish higher education – the economic rationality that sees HE as focused on human capital development for a competitive global economy, the rationality of status competition in a globally competitive HE market epitomized by university rankings, and the rise of populist or nationalist sentiments that seek to restrict access to HE as a public good. Denmark has followed the rest of Europe in internationalising its HE system in accordance with both the Bologne process and the Lisbon agenda (The Danish Government, 2010). As part of the European HE modernization agenda there has been encouragement for Danish universities to improve their position in global university rankings, an increase in the number of international students entering Danish universities and university colleges, and an increase in international programmes where the language of instruction is English (Lueg, 2015). However, Denmark has seen the rise of an identitarian Christianism (Brubaker, 2017). Whilst articulating a Christian civilizational narrative, this form of populism also works through a rhetoric of liberal secular values in its opposition to Islam. This has been focused primarily on migration and diversity. There has also emerged a politics of HE which has emphasised a nationalist, more than civilizational, sentiment, focused on two aspects of internationalisation highlighted above. The Minister for Education has argued that Denmark needs to restrict the number of non-EU/EEA students accessing higher education (Matthews, 2018). He has reduced the number of international students entering the university colleges and academies by 25% in 2017 and has plans for doing something similar in the universities. Similarly, he has called for a reduction in the number of international programmes teaching through English. This is simultaneous with an official encouragement for academics to publish in international high impact journals, which usually means publishing in English. These developments will be examined through the theoretical lens of the politics of belonging, detailing how HE is constituted as an exclusive public good and how this populist politics of HE works with and against the dominant rationalities of global HE.
Brubaker, R. (2017) Between nationalism and civilizationism: the European populist moment in comparative perspective, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40:8, 1191-1226, DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1294700 Lueg, K. (2015). English as a medium of instruction and internationalization at Danish universities: Status, perspectives, and implications for higher education executives. Communication & Language at Work, 4(4), 53-73. https://doi.org/10.7146/claw.v1i4.20772 Matthews, D. (2018, August 31) Danish universities dismayed by cut to foreign student numbers. Times Higher Education Supplement. Retrieved from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/danish-universities-dismayed-cut-foreign-student-numbers The Danish Government (2010) Denmark 2010: Knowledge, growth, prosperity, welfare. Retrieved from http://www.stm.dk/publikationer/arbprog_10_uk/Denmark_2020_knowledge_growth_prosperity_welfare.pdf Yuval-Davis, N. (2006) Belonging and the politics of belonging, Patterns of Prejudice, 40:3, 197-214, DOI: 10.1080/00313220600769331
Search the ECER Programme
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.