UBC Theses and Dissertations
How does the University speak for Itself on social media? : a case study of the University of British Columbia's Facebook and Weibo pages Liang, Jingwun
International student recruitment is of central importance to universities who aspire to maintain or improve their status in university rankings. A key strategy to garner the attention of prospective students is the use of social media. This study takes University of British Columbia (UBC), a public research university, which has the second-largest number of international students in Canada, as a case study to compare the messaging strategies applied in its two social media platforms, Facebook and Weibo. By arguing that the mediatization of higher education needs to be seen within the broader context of internationalization and marketization of universities, this study examines what school images/identities being presented to audiences on social media platforms and to identify the rationales of messaging strategies UBC employed. Methodologically, this study combines qualitative case study with multimodal critical discourse analysis of UBC Facebook and AskUBC大学 Weibo pages. Notably, this study found that compared to UBC’s Facebook page, messaging strategies on the AskUBC大学 Weibo page were more focused on marketing to prospective students. By analyzing what is present and absent on UBC’s social media platforms, this study found discourses re/produce on UBC Facebook and Weibo pages perpetuate epistemic violence of a global imaginary, which foreground the ideology of White/Western supremacy and have been instrumental in the continuous colonization and dispossession of non-Western, non-English speaking countries and other equity-seeking groups in Canada.
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