Marketing to international students: Presentation of university self in geopolitical space

Gary Rhoades, Santiago Castiello-Gutierrez, Jenny J. Lee, Mahmoud Sayed Marei, Leslie C. O’toole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Amidst public calls for greater internationalization, universities are marketing to international students. We explore how universities in regional hubs (Lee & Schoole, 2015) enact “dramaturgical performances” (Goffman, 1959), presenting images of themselves in geopolitical space. We find: (1) bifurcated marketing strategies to distinct student audiences; (2) differences between public and private universities in featuring lifestyle or academic issues, and higher education as a private or a public good, as in “academic capitalism” (Slaughter & Rhoades, 2004); & (3) distinctive positioning of universities by type and region in their local/national/regional space, highlighting the possibility of alternatives to dominant Anglo-American internationalization models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-551
Number of pages33
JournalReview of Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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