Knowledge nodes and international networks of connection: representations of private philanthropy by elite higher education institutions
journal contributionposted on 27.11.2013, 14:48 by Adam Warren, Morag Bell
This paper investigates the social and cultural geographies of large-scale individual giving in supporting the work of ‘elite’ international universities. With public funding of higher education in general decline, universities in countries of the global North are increasingly seeking funding from alternative sources, including private philanthropy. Although scholarly work has examined corporate and foundational giving to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), there has been little enquiry into how donations from wealthy individuals are represented by universities in their official literature. Publications such as annual reports, giving reports and campaign reports are used strategically by HEIs to project a global image. We examine the official literature of 50 elite HEIs located across the globe, uncovering new discourses into the cross-cultural reach of universities. We draw attention to complex social and cultural relations between HEIs and philanthropists, describing their encounters with reference to debates on personal mobilities, world-making and global and social inequalities. We conclude by highlighting the implications for theoretical work on ‘strategic philanthropy’ and on the transformative nature of HEIs as global centres of knowledge.
- Social Sciences
- Geography and Environment