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Lucas Cone

Towards a university of Halbbildung: How the neoliberal mode of higher education governance in Europe is half-educating students for a misleading future

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Responding to the structural and discursive changes that have (re)shaped the area of higher education in Europe over the last decades, the paper presents an analysis of how and with what educational consequences the purpose and value of higher education governance has shifted towards market-relevance and impact as the primary legitimizing factors in institutional quality assessments. The style will be asyndetic: rather than focus on single policy-documents, I purport to avail the justifications of the recent decades’ higher education policy through highlighting the use of specific words and certain arguments across a range of documents from the most prominent transnational actors and educational policy-makers in the field. Applying Theodor Adorno’s theory of Halbbildung (half-education), I go on to present the notion of Halbbildung as a conceptual lens for unveiling some of the teleological issues at stake in the current proposed purposes and modes of higher education governance. Paraphrasing Adorno’s call for commitment to educational authorities, I question the possibility of establishing commitment amongst students to something beyond the logics of applicable competence-building and productivity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Pages (from-to)1020-1030
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • EHEA, Halbbildung, higher education governance, neoliberalism

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