University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The presentation of internationalisation on university websites in England: impoverished discourses

Lewin-Jones, Jenny ORCID: (2023) The presentation of internationalisation on university websites in England: impoverished discourses. Other thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The study investigates how internationalisation is presented on university websites to external audiences, especially to prospective students. Data were gathered from the websites of eight universities, each differently positioned in England’s marketised and stratified higher education system, in 2020 before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. A Critical Discourse Studies approach was then used to analyse the webpages’ discursive strategies, linguistic devices and other semiotic resources. Presentation of internationalisation was found to be narrow and limited, largely confined to webpages aimed at recruiting international students. Internationalisation was rarely mentioned on the more general webpages, not even within the dominant employability discourse. The more highly ranked institutions sometimes also used internationalisation competitively to promote their own excellence and distinctiveness. Missing completely was a broader view about benefits “for all” of internationalised education, in formal academic settings and university life more generally. This matters, the study argues, because such impoverished discourses may lessen expectations, and thereby narrow internationalisation in practice. Sociological theories of ‘emotion management’ and risk are then used to suggest possible reasons for universities conveying such limited perspectives on internationalisation. Finally, the study indicates how these findings and its methodology could be taken forward to encourage wider versions of university internationalisation.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted to the University of Birmingham
for the degree of Doctor of Education. School of Education,
College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham, March 2023.
The full-text of the thesis can be accessed via the Official URL.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: higher education, internationalisation, discourse, critical discourse analysis, sociology of education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Jenny Lewin-Jones
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2023 08:20
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2023 08:14

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