The Commercialisation of UK Higher Education and the Growing Language Dynamic in China

By Julia Yi Wang, Seng Kiat Kok, Bob McClelland and James Kirkbride.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Growing competition within the field of higher education requires universities to understand and mitigate the different external forces that affect the management and orientation of institutions. The globalisation of the sector has required universities to not only expand its horizons into distance learning but to interact with international cultures, demands and needs of students (Healey, 2007).

Yet one can question the effective assimilation into UK university programmes of international students, especially given the existence of language barriers. While the recruitment of international students provides an alternate stream of funding, universities need to ensure that adequate duty of care alongside thresholds of quality remain.

This paper intends to highlight the growing impetus for globalised education alongside the need for universities to not only widen their target markets but also learn to embrace new orientations and technologies alongside the needs of the modern paying student. It highlights the internationalisation of higher education (HE) and the potential issues that occur as part of a language dynamic, examining the Chinese context and the usage of modern technologies such as the Internet as an aide to HE.

Keywords: Education Management, Second Language Learning, Globalisation, Internet, China, Commercialisation

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp.87-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 781.367KB).

Dr. Julia Yi Wang

Research Fellow, Liverpool Business School, Faculty of Business and Law, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK

Yi Wang is Director of International Programmes at the London School of Business and Finance, where she is charged with the development and twinning of joint programmes with educational institutions across the UK and globally. She is completing her doctoral research on language identities and their changes as a product of the Internet at Liverpool John Moores University, where she was formerly Research Fellow and Teaching Assistant in the Language Department. She is also Lecturer in English at The School of Foreign Languages at Shanghai University. Her previous studies were related to the field of languages, completing her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English Literature and Teaching Methodology at Shanghai Teacher’s University. Her current research interests and expertise focuses upon the growth of second language learning and the usage of technology as an aid within Chinese, UK and other international perspectives.

Dr. Seng Kiat Kok

Lecturer, Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK

Seng Kiat, Kok is Project Researcher at Durham University working on a project examining excellence in UK universities. He was formerly sessional lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) teaching research methods to undergraduate and postgraduate students, where he completed his PhD on changing archetypes and management structures of UK Universities. He has a Bachelors in Business Studies from the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff and Masters Degree in Business Studies from LJMU. His research interests include examining and evaluating the effects of managerialism and commercialisation on higher education management, commoditization of higher education internationally and in the UK, and motivational aspects of human resource management.

Dr. Bob McClelland

Reader in Educational Technology, Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK

Bob McClelland has worked in the UK Higher Education sector for 36 years. He is currently a Reader in Educational Technology and a Fellow of the Institute of Statisticians and Higher Education Academy. Initially a Chemist he has lectured Business Statistics, Decision Making, Management and Research Methods to undergraduates, postgraduates (MA, MBA and executive MBA), Doctoral students and professional courses in Business. He is Programme Manager of two Masters programmes, a Faculty Enterprise Chairman and Head of the Centre for Market Research Technologies at Liverpool John Moores University. Bob’s research is based upon corporate learning, utilizing new and emerging technologies (his doctoral subject) and evaluating projects. He has written several textbooks and has published widely on Learning and Teaching issues in Business Education. He undertakes a range of consultancy activities for enterprise and supervises twenty doctoral students in the UK and overseas. He is also a visiting Professor to Shanghai University and an MBA/Doctoral programme in Ramkhamhaeng University, Thailand.

Prof. James Kirkbride

Dean, International Business Law, Faculty of Business and Law, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK

Professor James Kirkbride joined the University in September 2002 as Dean of the Faculty of Business & Law. Previously he was the Assistant Dean at Leeds Business School and Head of the Leeds Law School and Head of the Centre for Director Education. At Leeds, James also had a personal Chair in International Business Law and a Jean Monnet Chair in European Legal Studies. James has research interests in, corporate governance ethics and regulation. He has published over 40 articles in business and legal journals and is the author and co-author of 7 books, including texts on The Law and Theory of Income Tax (2nd edition 2002) and Revenue Law: Principles and Practice (3rd edition. James has a strong interest in corporate studies and has received awards under the EU-China, EU-Japan, British Academy-DAAD and the Schuman scheme to facilitate international studies. James is also interested in the application of governance and enterprise and currently holds non-executive director positions and is a member of the Institute of Directors Examinations Board; the N.W. Business Innovation Awards Assessors’ Panel and the N.W. Business Awards jury; and is the Chair of the Standards Committee at West Yorkshire Fire Authority. He was also one of the first recipients of a Yorkshire Forward, Yorkshire Winner Award.


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