It is always discouraging to start a research project only to find that the phenomenon you want to study just doesn’t exist. That was the case when I set out to categorize and evaluate the mission and vision statements of Western branch campuses in education hubs. Turns out the majority of branch-campuses out there don’t have any reference to a mission or vision statement. Quite the blow to my neatly organized project.
My first reaction was to expound weakly that the accepted absence of something that is pretty standard in a parallel education context is worth studying. But when I actually looked at the sample websites of the branch campuses there enough simlarity to suggest that official mission/vision statements were missing but unofficially the majority of branch campuses are marketing themselves to the same tune. They say the same things, offer the same programs and are trying to capture the same students. I definitely found enough to research and would like to encourage cross-border educators to be more explicit about why the do what they do.
The study has just been released in the following article:
Grace Karram. (2012) “A futile search for values and pedagogy? A discursive analysis of the marketing messages of branch-campuses in higher education hubs.” Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, (Online First)