Ethnography: a key to engaging students in higher education and societal issues

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While Higher Education institutions are being criticized for not providing students with adequate skills for jobs in a fast changing and unpredictable future, many universities have responded by seeking to incorporate entrepreneurship courses outside of the Business school, or by marketing themselves as entrepreneurial institutions. Consequently, the term entrepreneurship seems to have been captured by neoliberal discourses (Shumar and Robinson, 2018). As a result, scholars warn of the threats to staff and student roles, to academic freedom with respect to research and teaching, and the purpose and future of the university. In Scandinavia however, entrepreneurship education has developed to mean something more than simply economic value. For over a decade, Scandinavian researchers and educators have been working with a broad definition of entrepreneurship that is about creating different kinds of value. In Denmark, this definition has led to the development of a change-maker model that is being integrated into educational practices across the Humanities at Aarhus University. In this model, ethnography is a central method to exploring how the individual is embedded in a particular social context and this enables links between university knowledge and societal contexts. The paper suggests that ethnographic methods could be important in exploring how societal issues can be investigated through the lens of disciplinary knowledge. Further, this model not only engages students with their disciplinary knowledge, but also supports collaboration, promotes co-creation, and motivates the students to engage with non-academic stakeholders.
StatusUdgivet - 2019
BegivenhedRethinking ethnography - University of Graz, Graz, Østrig
Varighed: 6 jun. 20197 jun. 2019


KonferenceRethinking ethnography
LokationUniversity of Graz

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