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Dissertation Information

Title: The value of English in Cyprus' higher education Add Dissertation
Author: Manuela Vida-Mannl Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://
Institution: Universität zu Köln, Englisches Seminar I
Completed in: 2019
Linguistic Subfield(s): Sociolinguistics;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Christiane Bongartz

Abstract: This dissertation conceptualizes the value of English as multi-leveled and explores the dynamics between English and the social structures in international higher education in Cyprus. Furthermore, it represents the first investigation of English in both parts of Cyprus – the Republic of Cyprus, the EU member country in the south, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the occupied northern territory which is recognized only by Turkey.

In assessing the value of English in these contexts, it detaches from traditional concepts like the potential ownership and cultural embeddedness of language and argues that the presence of English in international higher education is driven by its globally shared economic value. Rather than taking an institutional perspective, in this book the effects of the increasing use of the English language in global higher education on the life trajectories of local and international students, their choices, personal investment, and (social) mobility are scrutinized. Cyprus’ higher education landscape is used as the research site to assess the language in its multiple roles and disclose the exact composition of its value. Based on questionnaire data of 200+ students and qualitative interviews with 25+ students of four different universities, I develop and apply a three-level model to discuss the value of English. I find that the marketization of English, in the context of Cyprus’ higher education and beyond, enables the reproduction of prevailing social and economic stratification rather than equalizes speakers, being especially relevant when investigating points of contact between the Global North and Global South.