CHEF lunchtime talk: The Danish 'Dimensioning Model': On the devaluation of the Humanities and their emerging strategies for regaining value

Speaker: Miriam Madsen, PhD student, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University.

2017.08.11 | Miriam Madsen

Date Thu 12 Oct
Time 12:00 13:00
Location Campus Aarhus, Nobelparken, building 1483, room 616. Video link to DPU Emdrup, Tuborgvej 164, Copenhagen NV, Room D118

The 2014 policy initiative, called 'the Dimensioning Model', differed from ​recent governance of higher education by directly regulating enrolment numbers and changing the balance between the main disciplinary areas of the universities, particularly devaluating the humanities both in terms of their resources and reputation.

An ethnographic study of three degree programmes in the humanities and their contexts within the humanities institutes and faculties show that a main strategy for regaining the value of the humanities is curricular changes towards generic skills aimed at specific functions in the labour market.

However, a strategy of recruiting 'the right students' is also emerging within the humanities, raising interesting questions about the position of the humanities in relation to social mobility versus education for the excellent students. This talk will look into the valuation practices and strategies of both 'the Dimensioning Model' and the humanities, showing how different entangling university incentives are opening new possibilities.