Academy 2.0?
The Politics of Digital Change in Higher
Education
Social Media in Higher
Education
National organizations - RCUK, AHRC, ESRC,
NCRM, Professional Associations etc
University...
What purpose does this serve?
Enhancing institutional reputation and prestige
Social media engagement coming to be seen as...
Five predictions for the future
of higher education marketing
“HEIs will become increasingly divergent and
differentiated”...
Quadrant Consultants estimate HEIs spent between 0.75%
and 1.5% of their revenue on marketing, including
staff costs
They ...
The questionable efficacy of some of
this marketing activity invites the
construction of an apparatus to
assess it
Higher ...
The Politics of
Circulation
“The outcomes and findings of social research have always circulated back
into the social worl...
In this new context “some ideas will
gain visibility, others will be lost”
Social and technical structures
increasingly in...
This is why digital communicative
competency should be understood in terms
of academic agency
Two opposing tendencies comp...
This is why digital communicative
competency should be understood in terms
of academic agency
Two opposing tendencies comp...
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Academy 2.0? The Politics of Digital Change in Higher Education

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My presentation for Work, Employment and Society 2013

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Academy 2.0? The Politics of Digital Change in Higher Education

  1. 1. Academy 2.0? The Politics of Digital Change in Higher Education
  2. 2. Social Media in Higher Education National organizations - RCUK, AHRC, ESRC, NCRM, Professional Associations etc University groups Universities Research projects University services Academic departments Individual scholars
  3. 3. What purpose does this serve? Enhancing institutional reputation and prestige Social media engagement coming to be seen as integral to marketing and communications strategies Need to ‘differentiate’ from other institutions in increasingly competitive higher education market Need to build and sustain relations with students (former and current) and alumni Careful management of reputation integral to this - social media as opportunity AND threat
  4. 4. Five predictions for the future of higher education marketing “HEIs will become increasingly divergent and differentiated” “Investment will increase significantly” “Marketing high-fliers will be attracted to HEIs” “The use of customer relationship management (CRM) will become widespread” “Measurement of marketing effectiveness and return on investment will become increasingly the norm” Guardian Higher Education Network, 28thGuardian Higher Education Network, 28th November 2011November 2011
  5. 5. Quadrant Consultants estimate HEIs spent between 0.75% and 1.5% of their revenue on marketing, including staff costs They estimate at least 50% growth over next five years “Students’ expectations are going to be higher; our challenge is to show the value of coming to university and getting a degree and the quality of the student experience” - Kerry Law, director of external relations at De Montfort University Changing systemic environment in which HEIs compete for the ‘best’ students because numbers are otherwise capped. But also vested interest in promoting a certain conception of these challenges as integral to the institution
  6. 6. The questionable efficacy of some of this marketing activity invites the construction of an apparatus to assess it Higher Education both is and is being seen as a growth area for marketing and communications So what the implications of this...?
  7. 7. The Politics of Circulation “The outcomes and findings of social research have always circulated back into the social world in variegated and often untraceable forms (Savage, 2010). But the changing media through which research is being communicated opens this research up to a new range of possibilities for circulation and re-appropriation. If it gets any attention, it will be commented upon and rated (or ‘liked’) and, crucially, it will be re- appropriated through sharing, re-tweeting, re-blogging and as sections of the content (particularly visualizations) are cut-and-pasted into other posts for use by other ‘authors’.” - David Beer
  8. 8. In this new context “some ideas will gain visibility, others will be lost” Social and technical structures increasingly influential in conditioning the circulation of ideas The expansion of marketing and communication should be seen in this light The politics of circulation be reshaped by factors outside but also WITHIN the university
  9. 9. This is why digital communicative competency should be understood in terms of academic agency Two opposing tendencies competing to shape the circulation of academic work Marketing/communications instrumentalisation of ‘content’ vs autonomous researcher led engagement But the currently ‘open’ field of academic digital communications cannot be assumed to stay that way indefinitely
  10. 10. This is why digital communicative competency should be understood in terms of academic agency Two opposing tendencies competing to shape the circulation of academic work Marketing/communications instrumentalisation of ‘content’ vs autonomous researcher led engagement But the currently ‘open’ field of academic digital communications cannot be assumed to stay that way indefinitely

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