PhD Courses in Denmark

Roles of universities in European integration

Graduate School, Arts at Aarhus University


This course is part of the PhD programme put on by the project 'European Universities - Critical Futures' (DFF funded 2019-21). 
   The project, led by CHEF, has created a network of 18 centres of research on higher education across Europe, which PhD students from anywhere are welcome to join. The project 's aims are to generate a new agenda for research on universities in Europe; to create an inter-generational learning community in which PhDs and early stage researchers are integrated into all the project's agenda-setting activities; and to re-set the conditions of dialogue between researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders.
   The first PhD course in the series was integrated into the project's kick-off conference, held at DPU on 6-8 May 2019. PhD students were seamlessly integrated into the participatory sessions to review current research and generate ideas for the future, while the session devoted to all participants learning about and commenting on the PhD students' projects was the highlight of the event. 
   The project will hold two further workshops with integrated PhD courses, focused on refining future research agendas in particular areas. The first is:

'The roles of universities in European integration' (global knowledge economy, ERA, EHEA). 

The UK’s Brexit vote has disrupted the ideas and mechanisms for universities to foster European integration (Courtois 2018). The EU’s Lisbon strategy (working though ERA, EHEA and the Bologna Process) made universities central to the creation of a ‘Europe of Knowledge’ capable of competing with other world regions in a supposedly fast-approaching global knowledge economy. But this economy is increasingly questioned and the globalisation it fostered is seen as divisive rather than bringing benefits to everyone. The workshop/PhD course will question the logic of standardisation that has characterised European integration, with its reliance on metrics, and will explore emerging alternatives. We will also question the Bologna Process' strategy of ‘differential integration' and question assumptions about the future scenarios sketched for higher education in order to generate ideas for alternative ways engage with differences.

This workshop/PhD course aims to generate a number of small groups in which senior and early stage/PhD researchers work together to refine these research topics, generate new knowledge, and engage in discussion with stakeholders over the year  from summer 2020 to summer 2021, using the project's small budget for seeding new research agendas. The results will be brought together in the project's final conference on the roles of universities in the critical issues facing Europe at DPU in summer 2021.


1. Thorough insights into current research on existing approaches to European higher education integration (global knowledge economy, ERA, Bologna Process, EHEA)  and explorations of future alternatives.
2. Networking with senior researchers and stakeholders in the field, with opportunities to engage in agenda-setting and forge future research activities.
3. The creation of a pan-European and mutually supportive community of early stage researchers in the field of higher education and university studies.
4. Detailed comments on each PhD student's project.
5. Experience of a repertoire of participatory and action research and workshop methods aimed at creating an inter-generational learning community

PhD students are welcome to participate in this series of workshops/PhD courses and all other events over the duration of the project.


Chamlian, L. (2019). ‘European Union Studies as power/knowledge dispositif: Towards a reflexive turn’. Culture, Practice & Europeanization  4( 2): 59-77.

Corbett, A. (2003). Ideas, Institutions and Policy Entrepreneurs: towards a new history of higher education in the European Community. European Journal of Education, 38(3): 315–330.

Courtois, Aline et al. (2018). Higher education and Brexit: current European perspectives. Working Papers on University Reform no. 28. Copenhagen: Centre for Higher Education Futures. February.

Courtois, Aline and Veiga, Amélia (2019). ‘Brexit and higher education in Europe: the role of ideas in shaping internationalisation strategies in times of uncertainty’.  Higher Education. Published online.
2, DOI: 10.1080/13511610.2019.1666704

Espeland, W., and Stevens, M. (2008). ‘A Sociology of Quantification’. European Journal of Sociology, 49(3): 401-436. doi:10.1017/S0003975609000150

Neave, G. (2003). The Bologna Declaration: Some of the historic dilemmas posed by the reconstruction of the community in Europe’s systems of higher education. Educational Policy, 17(1): 141–164.

Neave, G. (2009). ‘The evaluative state as policy in transition: A historical and anatomical study’. International handbook of comparative education. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 551-568.

Rowlands Julie and Wright, Susan (2019). Hunting for points: the effects of research assessment on research practice’ Studies in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1706077 

Szadkowski, Krystian (2016). ‘Socially Necessary Impact/Time: Notes on the Acceleration of Academic Labor, Metrics and the Transnational Association of Capitals’. Teorie Vedy/Theory of Science 38(1): 54-85. 

Touraine, A. (2002). ‘From Understanding Society to Discovering the Subject’ Anthropological Theory 2(4): 387–389.

Veiga, A. (2014). Researching the Bologna Process through the Lens of the Policy Cycle. In A. Teodoro & M. Guilherme (Eds.), European and Latin American Higher Education Between Mirrors (pp. 91–108).

Veiga, Amélia (2019). Unthinking the European Higher Education Area – differentiated integration and Bologna's different configurations’ Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research 32(4): 495-51.

Target group:

PhD fellows from across Europe in the areas of higher education studies, anthropology, sociology and politics of higher education, critical university studies, etc. All stages of PhDs are welcome - the focus is on collective thinking and the building of common research agendas.

See also the draft programme here




The workshop/PhD course will last 3 days. There will be 3-4 more formal lectures followed by workshop sessions structured using participatory and action research methodologies.  Ample time will be devoted to PhD students' presenting and gaining feedback on their projects from the participating researchers.


3 ECTS including compulsory readings, a short submitted paper and 3 days of activities.


Dr Amelia Veiga, University of Porto
Dr Krystian Szadkowski, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
Professor Susan Wright, DPU (
Two more - contacted but not yet confirmed


14 December 12.00 - 21.30 incl. dinner

15 December 9.00 - 18.30 at 19.00 dinner in town

16 December 9.00 - 14.30


Practical information:

Participation is free of charge for all PhD students, but participants must pay for own travel and stay.

Refreshments available during course hours:

Coffee, tea, water and lunch is provided and paid for by the university on courses that run from the morning until mid or late afternoon. Lunch consists of sandwiches and bottled water at midday, and tea and coffee is served in the morning and mid-afternoon. Fruit or cake is served once a day during one of the coffee breaks. There are also cafes/canteens on campus with hot food, sandwiches, snacks and drinks on sale.

Course certificates:

Course certificates are issued after each course has ended and any written assignments have been submitted. The certificates are sent to the candidates by email.

Course evaluations:

Course evaluations are conducted at the end of each course. Occasionally, the course teacher will conduct a paper-based evaluation immediately at the end of the course, and gather the information from you themselves. However, evaluations are usually sent electronically to participants after the course has finished, and are completed and submitted online.

Campus map/locations:

The course details will provide information about the location of the course.

Travel to and in Copenhagen

The link below will take you to information about train, bus and metro services from Copenhagen airport.


Trains to Copenhagen Central station run every few minutes during the day and night. Tickets can be purchased via ticket machines inside the airport entrance or online in advance. The platforms are accessed by escalators close to the entrance of the airport terminal.  The hotels at which we usually reserve rooms for guest lecturers are close to the main station.


The metro runs from the airport 24 hours per day – as frequently as every four minutes during the day and at least three times per hour between midnight and around 6.00 am. Follow the signs to the metro at the airport exit. Tickets are purchased via ticket machines at the metro entrance. To travel to the Emdrup campus, take the Metro ‘M2’ from the airport terminal to Nørreport Station, and then the S-tog ‘B’ from Nørreport which will then take you to Emdrup station (Tuborgvej).


The bus journey from the airport to the Emdrup campus takes around 43 minutes including a nine-minute transfer. Take the Line 31 bus from the hovedbanegården, Tivoli bus stop, to Frederiksberg Rådhus, and then take the line 18 bus from that bus stop to Emdrup station.


The following link will take you to the website of a taxi company in Copenhagen. A taxi journey from the airport to the Emdrup campus will take around 10 minutes depending on traffic and the time of day.


Cafes and bars

Link to popular cafes, restaurants and bars (although on a Friday evening, there are many ‘fredagsbars’ around the university campus).

Application deadline:

Please apply for a spot on the course  no later than 1 November 2020.