Dizin Eklenmedi

The Canadian University’s Vocational Policy Turn: A Critical Discourse Analysis

Received: 13 Jan 2014 Accepted: 17 Oct 2014 Published: 10 Nov 2014



This paper will attempt to question and problematize the ways in which the discursive aspects of understanding the university, and the way the university defines itself, ultimately predefine its role in Canadian society. This paper will highlight and expose the restrictive power dynamics that language has on the way we conceptualize and debate the role of the university through a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of policy texts from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, various mission statements and academic policies of Ontario universities, as well as the language used by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. There has yet to be any direct critical analysis of the ways in which the language, or discourse, used in relation to the role of the university is imbued with politicized understandings and limitations in Ontario. As such, this paper seeks to inspire others to further explore the discursive elements of policies in order to gain a better understanding not only of how powerful language can be, but also to demonstrate the necessity for the scope of the discourse to be more inclusive of voices that are not in tune with the neoliberal agenda.


Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), Vocationalism, Neoliberalism, Higher Education Policy, Language

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