The impact of marketization on higher education genres - the international student prospectus as a case in point

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This paper is a contribution to the existing debate about the marketization of higher education and offers a detailed study of the way the practises of marketization manifest themselves at the level of discourse in higher education. Taking its point of departure in Critical Discourse Analysis and using a text-driven procedure for genre analysis, the paper describes and analyses the international student prospectus as an instance of a highly promotional genre which clearly reflects the values and forces of the free market. The paper contains two analyses. The first analysis compares four instances of the international student prospectus genre from Finland, Scotland, Australia and Japan and tries to establish genre membership and genre characteristics by considering the overall text structure, and by looking for similarities in content and ‘rhetorical moves'. The second analysis is an in-depth analysis of the language use in the international student prospectus from the University of Stirling, Scotland. This analysis pays particular attention to the way the rhetorical moves and visual and lexico-grammatical features in the text are used to represent the two main participants in the text: the university and its (potential) students. Both analyses show that the student prospectus is trying to construct an image of the University of Stirling and its student which goes hand in hand with the new trend in higher education - namely that of offering innovative products to ‘demanding' clients on the look-out for the best possible ‘university experience'.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiscourse Studies
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)723-742
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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