Marketing higher education: The promotion of relevance and the relevance of promotion

Social Epistemology 20 (3 & 4):221 – 240 (2006)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,219

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

34 (#445,975)

6 months
3 (#902,269)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Post-Modern Condition: A Report on Knowledge.J. F. Lyotard - 1985 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63:520.
Glimpsing the future.Ernesto Laclau - 2004 - In Simon Critchley & Oliver Marchart (eds.), Laclau: A Critical Reader. Routledge. pp. 279--328.
Is there a normative deficit in the theory of hegemony?Simon Critchley - 2004 - In Simon Critchley & Oliver Marchart (eds.), Laclau: A Critical Reader. Routledge. pp. 113--122.

View all 6 references / Add more references