Simulacra, Simulation, and the Internationalization of Higher Education in Thailand

  • Matthew R. Ferguson Humanities and Language Division, Mahidol University International College, Thailand
Keywords: International education, Thai studies, Simulation


          This paper offers a discourse analysis and critique of the processes of internationalizing education in the case of a university international college. The critique is rooted in Jean Baudrillard’s work of simulation and simulacra. This paper offers a seminal audit of how simulation and simulacra has informed organizational theory literature, and how it may be applied for understanding the symbolic value of international colleges in Thailand, but more specifically in Bangkok. Through this review, the author works to make the claim that the case international college has become a symbol of elitism in its context, and it has ceased any connection to the humanistic and cosmopolitan values that an international education espouses in education literature. It is argued that the case international education has achieved full simulacra. This critique leads to a conceptual framework that may be put to use to inspire critical research about the symbolic value of international education in Thailand.


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