The Role of Policy in Shaping English as a University Subject in Denmark

  • Anna Kristina Hultgren


This chapter focuses on how education policy plays a role in what constitutes the subject of English in university. It explores how and to what extent contemporary policies, devised in the context of an ongoing massification of higher education (Altbach et al., 2009), are reflected in an English Studies curriculum, using the University of Copenhagen in Denmark as a case study. As far as English Studies is concerned, the massification of higher education has fuelled anxieties, in the USA at least, that ‘real English studies: the novel, the sonnet’ are going to be replaced by more vocationally relevant subjects such as ‘programs in ESL [English as a second language], remedial writing, business English, Anglophone area studies, rhetoric and composition, practical communication, applied linguistics, media arts, and so on’ (English, 2012, p. 109). There is concern, in other words, about what might be called a ‘vocationalization’ of English Studies, in which its practical and utilitarian dimensions are prioritized over its intrinsic value.


English Study Political Reform Quality Assurance Agency Bologna Declaration Societal Relevance 
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© Anna Kristina Hultgren 2016

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  • Anna Kristina Hultgren

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