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Marketing Higher Education: The Promotion of Relevance and the Relevance of Promotion

Lowrie, Anthony and Willmott, Hugh 2006. Marketing Higher Education: The Promotion of Relevance and the Relevance of Promotion. Social Epistemology 20 (3-4) , pp. 221-240. 10.1080/02691720600879806

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This paper examines the marketization of higher education. It takes the curriculum development for a degree sponsored by industry as a focus for exploring the involvement of industry and, more specifically, prospective employers, in shaping higher education provision. Empirical material gathered from a three and a half‐year ethnographic study is used to illustrate how mundane promotional work associated with sponsored curricula operates to reconstitute higher education. It is shown how, in the process of introducing sponsored curricula into the university, a market relevance discourse is merged with traditional discourse to promote a new discursive order and thereby contribute to the reformation of university education. This hybrid discourse (of tradition and relevance) makes traditional resistance to the encroachment of “relevance” into university education more difficult to justify, and perhaps impossible to sustain. Nonetheless, it produces new antagonisms that provide future sites of resistance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Uncontrolled Keywords: Higher Education; Marketing; Relevance; Industry; Discourse Analysis
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0269-1728
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:31

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