Jante Universitet

Episoder fra livet bag murene. Bind 1: Den skønne facade

Linda Maria Koldau
Business & Karriere, Biografien & Erinnerungen, Politik & Geschichte, Romane & Erzählungen

The trilogy “Jante Universitet” offers a comprehensive critique of the Danish university system, showing the general consequences of the New Public Management system for a country’s education and its economy.

The trilogy offers the unique combination of a handbook and an authentic story. The novel-like story line is based on the experiences of a German professor, documented over three years at a Danish university.
As a systematic handbook, “Jante Universitet” offers two “short cuts” that can be read within two hours. The individual episodes depict the absurdities of everyday life at a university, from department structures and petty intrigues through a scandalous teaching strategy to the questionable management methods of administrators that have total power over the academic staff.
The handbook is a tool for those who are interested in and have responsibility for university education – not only in Denmark, but in all countries where New Public Management has begun to corrode higher education.

VOLUME 1: DEN SKØNNE FACADE (The Beautiful Façade)
The German professor Liane is being headhunted by Jante Universitet to fill the renowned chair of musicology. Liane, whose work meets the highest standards of international competetiveness and academic etiquette, trusts in the beautiful façade that is being presented to her by the dean and the department director. Yet within a year she discovers an appalling system behind this façade: a system that has been estranged entirely from academic standards and critical thought. DEN SKØNNE FACADE tells of power games, intrigues, and absurd curricula that masquerade as “world class”.

The trilogy is based on the so-called “Koldau Case” (Koldau-sagen) that caused a major scandal in Denmark in 2012, concerning
• the right of university staff to freedom of speech,
• the mismanagement of and totalitarian structures within Danish universities,
• the low standards of university education in the humanities,
• the disastrous consequences of the Danish University Law of 2003.

Having been headhunted by her university in 2009, Prof. Dr. Linda Maria Koldau voiced her criticism of the scandalous university standards publicly in 2011. In consequence the university management forced her to resign from her position as Chair of Musicology, both breaking the law and using unprincipled methods known from totalitarian systems.