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There were demands for more highly educated youths which lead to an explosive increase in financial support for the formal educational system, which eventually resulted in the mass university. In the 1990s, the debate shifted towards lifelong learning and learning in the world of work was emphasised. In addition to this, the relevance of the formal educational system to the world of work was focused on. An important difference between the debates on the expansion of the educational opportunities that took place in the 1960s compared to the 1990s is that in the first generation, the discussion was rooted in a social as well as an economic context.

In Parsons’ theory about socialisation, there is a causal relationship between education and the ability to function in a professional role, which is - 49 - Chapter 3: The functions of higher education manifested in a higher position in the labour market. Also, Durkheim accentuated the fundamental role of education in the continuing existence of society. g. Durkheim 1992, 1984). 3 The socialising and qualifying function of education Parallels can be drawn between the socialising function of education and the qualification aspect outlined in human capital theory.

The work has to be learned in the workplace. Helms Jørgensen (2004, 2002) argues that there is a discrepancy between learning in the formal educational system and learning in the workplace due to different rationales, which he refers to as a ‘school rationale’ and a ‘production rationale’, respectively, and in addition to these there is a subjective rationale of the learner. Whereas the school rationale is “founded 36 Primarily there are concerns related to the graduates' communicative skills, abilities to cooperate and leadership abilities.

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