chapter  11
Professional Consultancy and Global Higher Education: The Case of Branding of Academia
Pages 16

A new and, by denition, visible feature of global higher education is the branding of universities and colleges worldwide. In eorts oen appended to strategic planning exercises, universities and colleges worldwide labor to develop coherent “brand identities,” and they subsequently launch branding campaigns, redesign their emblems and oen originate logos, and many also register their logos as proprietary trademarks. Such branding action is justied as consolidating institutional character and thus building reputation among prospective students, corporate partners, donors and alumni. Yet still, within academia, branding is met with much suspicion: academics are oen dismissive, if not disparaging, of any branding initiative taken by their universities and regard branding as one among the new managerial fads that infringe on the essence of their institutions. Out of this contempt, the once guild-like Republic of Scholars, which still prides itself on peer-review culture and self-generating standards for excellence, is delegating brand management decisions to professional public relations (PR) and marketing experts. In this way, the ethos of the profession of academia drives it to allow endogenous, or hidden, privatization of this once aloof ivory tower.