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Crossing borders: an exploration of transnational 'readability' and 'comparability' of university qualifications

Date: 20 March 2012 Time: 1 - 2 pm

Venue: C89, County South

Carole Sedgwick, University of Roehampton, on:

Crossing borders: an exploration of transnational 'readability' and 'comparability' of university qualifications through a study of the literacy practices of MA thesis writing in two different European locations

This paper will report on some of the findings from my recently completed PhD thesis at Lancaster. The thesis was prompted by the aims of the Bologna Process to create a higher education space in Europe with a common system of 'readable' and 'comparable' degrees. Through an examination of literacy practices of MA thesis writing at the end of a postgraduate English studies programme in two different national locations, Hungary and Italy, the thesis interrogates notions of transnational 'readability' and 'comparability' of university qualifications. For this study an 'ethnographic-style' approach was adopted to collect rich data concerning the literacy practices of thesis making on six theses in each location.

This presentation will focus on the analytical methods I used to attempt to close the gap between text and context and how the findings highlight the limitations and ideological bias of a top-down approach to 'soft regulation' adopted in the Bologna Process, which fails to acknowledge a more powerful standardising force, that of Anglophone publication.

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Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: David Barton (Linguistics and English Language), Uta Papen (Linguistics and English Language)

Organising departments and research centres: Educational Research, Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: European Union, Higher education HE, Literacy practices


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