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Constructing Ideal Universities – The internationalisation of higher education in the competitive knowledge society

Nokkala, Terhi (2007) Constructing Ideal Universities – The internationalisation of higher education in the competitive knowledge society Tampere University Press.

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This doctoral thesis discusses the Finnish and European discourses on the interna- tionalisation of higher education and the roles of the University. The thesis aims to understand the ways in which the roles and tasks of the University are played out in the competitive knowledge society in Finland and the European Higher Education Arena. The competitive knowledge society is seen as a dominant political rationality within which changes in the University as a social institution can be evaluated and discussed.

The research’s starting point is the representation of internationalisation as a change in the University and as an indication of its responsiveness. Discourse analytical strate- gies were used to analyse the empirical data used in the research. Institutional theory and governmentality theory were utilised to make sense of the University as a social institution and the competitive knowledge society as a dominant political rationality, and the way these two framework conditions relate to the discourses.

Six discourses were identifi ed in the empirical analysis. The three Internationalisa- tion discourses were named the internationalisation as individual growth -discourse, the internationalisation as rethinking the university -discourse and the internationalisation as opening up the country -discourse. They provided answers to the questions about what higher education internationalisation is and what its consequences are, from the perspective of the individual, the university and the nation.

The three University discourses were named the science and knowledge -discourse, the civilisation and wellbeing -discourse and the competition and competitiveness -discourse. The University discourses represent legitimations of the University in the knowledge society. They describe the reasons why the University is needed in society, what the University contributes to it, and what a “true” University is like.

The representations of internationalisation, or the roles and tasks of the Uni- versity and its identity as an institution in a competitive knowledge society, are not singular or homogenous. Instead they are constructed of several different co-existing and complementary discourses. Although the University contribution to competition and competitiveness makes a strong constitutive and legitimating discourse, other discourses and other legitimations live side by side with it.

Item Type: Book
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 1 January 2007
Additional Information : Doctoral thesis published by: Tampere University Press, Tampere.
Depositing User : Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited : 27 May 2010 14:42
Last Modified : 26 Jul 2016 10:02

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