A Disciplinary Perspective: The Internationalization of Australian Public Relations Education

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Abstract

This article investigates the internationalization of public relations education, by examining public relations education in Australia, its relation with the public relations industry, and its growth in response to international student- and market-led demand. The discussion highlights the tensions within what is essentially an education project driven in part by stakeholders seeking to professionalize the industry and in part by university staff seeking academic legitimacy and disciplinary status for public relations within a rapidly changing higher education sector. Tensions between the local, national, and global contexts of higher education, and academic, industry and market factors are evident. In particular, the process of developing an internationalized curriculum exposes the narrow disciplinarity and weak theoretical foundations of a field, which emerged out of industry practice and is strongly influenced by U.S. scholarship. It is concluded that internationalization of the public relations curriculum offers scholars the possibility to address the ethnocentric values and narratives of their discipline and improve learning outcomes for students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-147
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Studies in International Education
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Australia
  • disciplinarity
  • internationalization of the curriculum
  • public relations

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