The development of our society is not going to stop. It just goes on and on. But the speed in which it develops has gone from the pace of a turtle to that of a running hare. So, where does that leave the students who are about to enter the job market or are about to begin their studies at a university?
According to Søren Pind, the Minister of Higher Education and Science, the students will have to be flexible and able to shift between jobs and vast amounts of information. This requires a certain sturdiness and knowledge about oneself.
“We need a modern understanding of what it means to be a human in the 21st century. And this is why we need to re-introduce a common course on cultural understanding at all universities. The course could, for instance, go in depth into Grundtvig and his ideas about critical thinking, or into understanding Kirkegaard by having discussions about the inner choice. About how you want to be like asa human. But a part of this is also meant to embrace future challenges within the natural sciences and technology,” he said during his visit to CBS on the 30th of November as part of a tour to all of the Danish universities.
He wanted to discuss matters such as the quality of education and his idea of a course (filosofikum) with subjects such as philosophy, history, culture, and tech to, for instance, improve the students’ critical sense, their ability to do cross-disciplinary work, and to make them think about who they want to be as a person.
A good idea… but
The idea of a more holistic view on students and their education is met with positivity, but Rachel Scheele and Malthe Gaarden from CBS Students, who were both present when Søren Pind met the students at CBS, shared their concerns.
“I like the idea of the holistic human, but I just don’t think you get there by having a course that focuses on that. Then it just becomes about grades and whether you know Kirkegaard’s philosophies or not. And that’s what I’m concerned about,” says Malthe Gaarden.
To this Søren Pind replied:
“I see your point, but this is about creating respect for hard work and absorption. So, this shouldn’t solely be about getting good grades. It’s more than that.”
Rachel Scheele also thinks that making a course about cultural development isn’t necessarily a good idea. Instead, it should be integrated into everything we do throughout our life. Not as an additional course during our studies at a university.
“This shouldn’t be only be a course. Cultural development should follow us through life. I totally see the point in it, as we generate knowledge at a pace where it’s difficult to understand what it means, and where it takes us. By incorporating cultural development, we might get a better understanding of that,” she says.
The Ministry of Higher Education and Science has recently established a task force with people representing different learning institutions – including CBS – to come up with ideas on what this course about cultural development can contain.