Coactivity: Philology, Educology / Santalka: Filologija, Edukologija, Vol 24, No 1 (2016)

The Changing Conception of the University Curriculum Knowledge in the European Higher Education Area: from Knowledge to Competence?

Rūta Petkutė (Tallinn University, Estonia)


Within the European Higher Education Area, the traditional conception of the university curriculum knowledge has been challenged. The notions of learning outcome and competence have been replacing the notion of knowledge as a central educational concept of the university curriculum. The European higher education policy urges the European universities to provide their students with competences, which are assumed to be necessary for employment and successful operation in the global knowledge economy. As a result, more generic rather than disciplinary forms of knowledge are placed at the centre of the current policy discourse. The present paper aims to conceptually analyse the changing conception of the university curriculum knowledge in the light of the EHEA and discuss the implications of this change. It seeks to map the socio-economic and political factors spawning the current advocacy of competences, discern the key patterns of the European higher education curriculum modernisation as well as discuss its implications. The study serves several qualitative research methods: an overview of research literature and a content analysis of official European policy documents.

Article in: English

Article published: 2016-06-07

Keyword(s): knowledge; disciplinary knowledge; competence; generic competence; transferable skill; curriculum; university; knowledge economy; the European Higher Education Area; higher education policy.

DOI: 10.3846/cpe.2016.287

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Coactivity: Philology, Educology / Santalka: Filologija, Edukologija ISSN 2351-714X, eISSN 2335-7711
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