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

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

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.

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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.

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