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What can a CAQDAS analysis reveal about university textual identity?

Dickinson, Mary J. (2002) What can a CAQDAS analysis reveal about university textual identity? Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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This thesis argues that changes in the 'idea' of the university can be identified through an analysis of the textual identities of institutions utilising Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS). The historical review at the beginning of the work identifies four key, perennial aspects of university identity and function: (i) transmitting knowledge and producing cultured students; (ii) research; (iii) training for employment; and (iv) a wider duty to society. The thesis rests upon the premise that the relative prominence of each of these four aspects in university publications gives a university a certain textual identity at a given time. The thesis further suggests that certain specific forces - State intervention, economic pressures, industry, and competition - affect the priority given to these aspects. The University of Surrey is examined as a case study and changes in the relative prominence of these aspects are observed in the textual presentation of this institution over time. These findings, when compared with an analysis of the public documents of a cross-sector sample of other institutions, revealed different textual identities and this has implications regarding university mission and performance. The thesis shows that external factors do have an influence upon textual identity. CAQDAS was also able to reveal that university textual identity is not monolithic and varies over time and depending on the intended audience. The remit of the study extends to January 2002, and is therefore timely in light of the 2001 review of the structure and funding of higher education (Newby, 2001), particularly because a key aspect of the Newby review is the increasingly explicit linking of funding to mission. This analysis contributes to debates in higher education concerning institutional identity, the usefulness of existing institutional typologies, mission, and possible futures for the sector. The study also makes a methodological contribution to educational research in its innovative employment of the CAQDAS tool.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Dickinson, Mary J.
Date : 2002
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:11
Last Modified : 16 Mar 2018 19:13

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