Academic drift in Danish professional engineering education. Myth or reality? Opportunity or threat?

TitleAcademic drift in Danish professional engineering education. Myth or reality? Opportunity or threat?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsChristensen, S. H., and E.. Ernø-Kjølhede
Secondary TitleEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Keywordsacademic drift, driving forces, education policy, higher education, mergers in the higher education sector, professional engineering education
Abstract

This article examines whether and, if so, to what extent academic drift can be said to have taken place in Danish professional engineering education. If the answer is affirmative, what were the driving forces behind it and what are the consequences – if any? First, a theoretical and conceptual framework for the discussion is introduced. This is followed by a case study of institutional change in higher education in Denmark, with a particular emphasis on two institutional examples, the two previously independent engineering colleges that recently merged with universities. The two examples are based on data gathered in interviews with teachers and management in these two engineering colleges (now both part of a university). In conclusion, based on the findings the questions posed in the title of this article are addressed and possible benefits and drawbacks of increased academisation of professional engineering education are discussed.