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SRA IDII Seminar: Marketing ‘development studies’: what are we selling and to whom?

Wed, 12 September 2018, 13:00 to 15:00

CMR11, The Open University, Walton Hall Campus, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA

The ‘neoliberal university’ is a distinct site of the increased marketisation and commercialisation of higher education in the UK. Stephen Ball (2007; 2012) has written extensively on how neoliberalism is reshaping the educational terrain to produce customer-students and university management as business management. Within this context, as central government funding for universities decrease, critical focus has turned to how courses are marketed to, particularly, international students. This is done largely based on marketised ideals of the superiority of western knowledge (Robertson, 2010), UK universities are branded as leading providers of expert knowledge (Chapleo, 2010) and holders of UK degrees are assured greater success with one than without (Sidhu, 2006). The marketing logic of UK universities produces narratives of the UK and ‘expert knowledge’ that are designed to appeal to potential students. These narratives are acutely problematic when viewed through a postcolonial and post-development lens. Drawing extensively on critical studies on the work of representations of ‘development’ in the field of international development, in this seminar I bring together a series of frames to conceptually unpack the marketing of development studies postgraduate programmes in the UK. The issues raised in the seminar coalesce around a central question: whose values are appealed to and edified in the call to study ‘development’?  
Dr Kamna Patel is a lecturer in development studies at the Development Planning Unit at University College London (UCL). She has written widely on her reflexive practice as a development studies teacher and researcher, and is now engaged in critical reflection on university administration and management; the third component of academic life. She is deeply commitment to a decolonial study and practice of ‘development’.
There will be an interactive Q&A session following the presentation. 
Lunch will be provided at 13:00. For catering purposes, please confirm your attendance by email to Dawn Edwell via

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International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)1908 858502