From profiling to pioneering

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The first decade-and-a-half of the new millennium was a time of dramatic change for European universities. In response to the high level of competition on the international higher education market following the introduction of the Bologna process and the surging popularity of international rankings, universities are now looking for ways to differentiate themselves and their programmes. New English-taught programmes are increasingly seen as an opportunity to launch innovative curricula. This paper presents the results of a two-stage analysis of policy documents and expert interviews, revealing the drivers behind the decision to introduce English-medium education in the context of the ongoing internationalisation of higher education. The present study identified a shift in internationalisation efforts at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, one of Europe’s largest business universities. While in the past decade the drivers behind the implementation of English-medium programmes were primarily connected to the university’s profile and reputation, the latest data show they are now characterised by the university’s aim to be perceived as an innovator and a pioneer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239 - 258
JournalEuropean Journal of Language Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 602004 General linguistics
  • 602008 English studies
  • 602048 Sociolinguistics

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