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Website Homepages of Private Universities of Pakistan Serving as Bait for Prospective Students: A Critical Discourse Analysis
This study mainly focused on the use of language and pictures in website homepages and strategies employed by the universities to manipulate and influence their visitors. Three private universities were selected for the study by using simple random sampling technique. From the website homepages of each of these universities 20 screenshots were taken by using snipping tool. From these 20 screenshots, 3 screenshots per university were selected by using simple random sampling technique. Fairclough’s three-dimensional model was used for the analysis of these screenshots. The study showed that the private universities use different discursive techniques and strategies to manipulate and impress students and thereby influence them to give preference to these universities over other universities for taking admission. The analysis revealed that these universities rely on pictures of young beautiful females, majestic buildings, and ideologically loaded language for attracting students to take admission in them. The websites of private universities make a calculated choice of pictures, vocabulary and grammar for loading them with their implicit ideologies, which are taken for granted by prospective students as common sense assumptions. In this way, they or their parents, unaware of the power exercised over them, are influenced and deceived by the persuasive language, without taking notice of the hidden ideologies of these universities
Dr. Syed Shujaat Ali
Chairman, Department of English, Kohat University of Science & Technology, Kohat, KP, Pakistan
M. Phil Research Scholar, Department of English, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan
Lecturer, Department of English, University of Malakand, KP, Pakistan