Discursive Construction of Higher Education Institutional Academic Identities in Nigeria

Authors

  • Mohammed Ademilokun Obafemi Awolowo University
  • Rotimi Taiwo Obafemi Awolowo University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.20.1.15-39

Keywords:

identity, higher education, university, branding, marketization

Abstract

There is an increase in brand marketing on the websites of universities in a bid to present the kind of identities that will best promote them. This study examines the identities universities project to market their brands within the context of consumer culture of the contemporary higher educational setting. Data for the study were obtained from the websites of 24 public and private universities in Nigeria and were analysed based on Fairclough’s (2015) dialectical relational theory and Roper and Parker’s (2006) insights on branding. The findings reveal seven kinds of identity: professional, national, transnational, humanist, Afrocentric, ethnic and religious. These identities range from the ideal to narrow-interest ones. The study concludes that identity construction in any university should aim primarily at advancing knowledge and producing total graduates who would be able to adapt and survive in any part of the world and contribute meaningfully to societal development.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Abakare, Chris, and Vincent Okeke. 2018. “Communalism in Contemporary African Society: A Phenomenological Study.” Nnamdi Azikiwe Journal of Philosophy 10 (2): 67–83.

Akpotu, Nelson, and Williams P. Akpochafu. 2009. “An Analysis of Factors Influencing the Upsurge of Private Universities in Nigeria.” Journal of Social Sciences 18 (1): 21–27. https://doi.org/10.1080/09718923.2009.11892663.

Ashiru, Hameed Tunde, and Adedoye Anthony Oludare. 2015. “Stylo-Rhetorical Analysis of the Vision and Mission Statements of Higher Institutions in the Northwest Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria.” International Journal of Discourse Analysis 1 (2): 1–9.

Ayinuola, Ojo Akinleye, and Victoria Iyabo Francis. 2021. “Discourse Representation of Significant Others in Slogans of Selected Nigerian Universities.” Himalaya Journal of Education & Literature 2 (5): 8–16. https://doi.org/10.47310/Hjel.2021.v02i05.002.

Ayaawan, Alinsiwen. 2021. “The Colonizing Effect: Marketisation and the Discursive Enactment of Institutional Identity in Ghanaian Universities’ Websites.” International Journal of Marketing Semiotics and Discourse Studies 9: 1–21.

Banda, Felix, and Lynn Mafofo. 2014. “Commodification of Transformation Discourses and Postapartheid Institutional Identities at three South African Universities.” Critical Discourse Studies 13 (2): 174–92. https://doi.org/10.1080/17405904.2015.1074593.

Bhattacharya, Soumen, and Mohammad Faisal. 2020. “University Branding during Covid-19: A Study on the Role of Social Media in Promoting Covid-19 Awareness and Building Brand Image.” Journal of Content, Community and Communication 12: 280–90. https://doi.org/10.31620/JCCC.06.20/26.

Bucholtz, Mary, and Kira Hall. 2005. “Identity and Interactions: A Sociolinguistic Approach.” Discourse Studies 7 (4–5): 585–614. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445605054407.

de Chernatony, Leslie, and Francesca Dall’Olmo Riley. 1998. “Defining a ‘Brand’: Beyond the Literature with Experts’ Interpretations.” Journal of Marketing Management 14 (5): 417–43. https://doi.org/10.1362/026725798784867798.

Dogan, Volkan. n.d. “Brand Name Strategies at Universities: Comparison of Three Distinct Naming Strategies.” Journal of Management and Marketing Research 14: 1–12.

Ead, A. Hamed, and Nermeen H. Saleh. 2021. “Identity Construction Through Logos: An Analysis of 8 Egyptian Universities.” Turkish Journal of Computer and Mathematics Education 12 (13): 3784–803.

Efe, Ibrahim, and Omer Ozer. 2015. “A Corpus-Based Discourse Analysis of the Vision and Mission Statements of Universities in Turkey.” Higher Education Research & Development 34 (6): 1110–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2015.1070127.

Farinloye, Temitope, Ogechi Adeola, and Emmanuel Mogaji. 2020. “Typology of Nigerian Universities.” In Strategic Marketing of Higher Education in Africa, edited by Emmanuel Mogaji, Felix Maringe, and Robert Ebo Hinson, 168–98. London: Routledge.

Fairclough, Norman. 1993. “Critical Discourse Analysis and the Marketization of Public Discourse: The Universities.” Discourse & Society 4 (2): 133–68. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926593004002002.

—. 2000. Language and Power. London: Longman.

—. 2015. Language and Power. London: Routledge.

—. 2016. “A Dialectical-Relational Approach to Critical Discourse Analysis in Social Research.” In Methods of Critical Discourse Studies, 3rd Ed., edited by Ruth Wodak and Michael Meyer, 86–108. London: Sage Publications.

Flowerdew, John, and Simon Ho Wang. 2015. “Identity in Academic Discourse.” Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 35: 81–99. https://doi.org/10.1017/S026719051400021X.

Hoang, Thi Van Yen, and Isolda Rojas-Lizana. 2015. “Promotional Discourse in the Websites of Two Australian Universities: A Discourse Analytic Approach.” Cogent Education 2 (1). https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2015.1011488.

Hyland, Ken. 2004. “Disciplinary Interactions: Metadiscourse in L2 Postgraduate Writing.” Journal of Second Language Writing 13 (2): 133–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2004.02.001.

—. 2005. “Stance and Engagement: A Model of Interaction in Academic Discourse.” Discourse Studies 7 (2): 173–92. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445605050365.

Karoly, Kristztina. 2009. “Author Identity in English Academic Discourse: A Comparison of Expert and Hungarian EFL Student Writing.” Acta Linguistica Hungarica 56 (1): 1–22.

Kenway, Jane, and Elizabeth Bullen. 2001. Consuming Children: Education Entertainment-Advertising. Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Mampaey, Jelle, and Jeroen Huisman. 2016. “Branding of UK Higher Education Institutions. An Integrated Perspective on the Content and Style of Welcome Addresses.” Recherches Sociologiques Et Anthropologiques 46 (1): 133–48. https://doi.org/10.4000/rsa.1636.

Mogaji, Emmanuel, Felix Maringe, and Robert Ebo Hinson. 2020. Strategic Marketing of Higher Education in Africa. London: Routledge.

Rahimivand, Masumeh, and Davud Kuhi. 2014. “An Exploration of Discoursal Construction of Identity in Academic Writing.” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 98: 1492–1501. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.570.

Rogendorf, Nadine. 2008. “How New Zealand Universities Present Themselves to the Public: An Analysis of Communication Strategies.” Master's Thesis, Auckland University of Technology. https://openrepository.aut.ac.nz/bitstreams/27e6c010-fc43-4319-b918-9652408f42ce/download.

Roper, Stuart, and Carthy Parker. 2006. “Evolution of Branding Theory and Its Relevance to the Independent Retail Sector.” The Marketing Review 6 (1): 55–71. https://doi.org/10.1362/146934706776861555.

Shanaz, Ambreen, and Samina Amin Qadir. 2020. “Branding the Higher Education: Identity Construction of Universities through Logos, Mottos and Slogans.” Journal of Research in Social Sciences 8 (1): 48–71. https://doi.org/10.52015/jrss.8i1.67.

Teo, Peter, and Songsha Ren. 2019. “Marketisation of Universities in China: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the University President’s Message.” Discourse and Communication 13 (5): 539–61. https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481319856203.

Valitov, Shamil M. 2014. “University Brand as a Modern Way of Winning Competitive Advantage.” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 152 (7): 295–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.09.198.

Wayne, Thomas, Temitope Farinloye, and Emmanuel Mogaji. 2020. “Analysis of African Universities’ Corporate Visual Identities.” In Strategic Marketing of Higher Education in Africa, edited by Emmanuel Mogaji, Felix Maringe, and Robert Ebo Hinson, 11–43. London: Routledge.

Wu, Yinqi, and Cecilia Cheong. 2020. “The Hypertextual Gateway of Elite Chinese Universities: A Genre Analysis of the ‘About’ Webpages.” Issues in Language Studies 9 (2): 94–125. https://doi.org/10.33736/ils.2365.2020.

Xiong, Tao, and Qiuna Li. 2020. “Interdiscursivity and Promotional Discourse: A Corpus-Assisted Genre Analysis of About Us Texts on Chinese University Websites.” Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics 43 (4): 397–416. https://doi.org/10.1515/CJAL-2020-0027.

Xu, Lihua, Chaoqun Xie, and Jun Lei. 2021. “Discursive Marketisation through Positive Evaluation: A Diachronic Analysis of About Us Texts of Top Tier Chinese Universities over the Past Two Decades.” Frontiers in Psychology 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.789558.

Zhang, Tongtong. 2017. “The Marketisation of Higher Education Discourse: A Genre Analysis of University Website Homepages in China.” Higher Education Studies 7 (3): 64–79. https://doi.org/10.5539/hes.v7n3p64.

Downloads

Published

29. 06. 2023

How to Cite

Ademilokun, M., & Taiwo, R. (2023). Discursive Construction of Higher Education Institutional Academic Identities in Nigeria. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 20(1), 15-39. https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.20.1.15-39