Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Daniel Robinson
Dr. Sharon Sliwinski
This thesis explores the promotional activities of five Ontario universities, bringing together scholarly work in history, education, marketing, consumer culture, semiotics, representation, and ideology to consider how institutions portray themselves to prospective undergraduate students. Visually and textually, each institution now constructs a brand, positions itself competitively, and shapes the ways in which it desires to be perceived. In promotional materials, universities attempt to balance conflicting roles as both cultivators of culture and the liberal arts, as well as centers of innovation and training in the “knowledge economy.” It is concluded that, in promotional materials, universities take the rhetorical middle ground, claiming to have the best of both worlds. They gloss over conflicting agendas, idealize the academic environment, and contribute to a “student consumer” mentality among prospective students by emphasizing convenience, credentials, and career prospects.
Carrocci, Lindsay, "Representing the Promotional University: Undergraduate Student Recruitment Strategies in Ontario, 1997- 2007" (2009). Digitized Theses. 3920.