Higher education as object for corporate and nation branding: Between equality and flagships
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Branding has become an important issue within higher education. The use of core value statements and visions are expressions of this. To be a successful brand, organisations must also make sure they are different from others. However, in both the scholarly discourse and in political rhetoric, the Nordic model highlights equal access to education and opportunities for all. Values such as egalitarianism and diversity may be difficult to fit into a frame of reference where excellence is at the centre. Historically higher education has also been an important part of nation branding initiatives. This paper asks how different branding perspectives (corporate branding and nation branding) are matched and harmonised with respect to higher education in two Nordic countries. The study shows that there is a lack of harmonisation between nation branding and corporate branding, and that the discourse on excellence is not conducive to differentiation at the organisational level.