Use of Weibo by UK universities and Chinese students: A study of intercultural micro-blogging

A session at Twitter and Microblogging: Political, Professional and Personal Practices

Friday 12th April, 2013

10:10am to 10:40am

Social media provides an opportunity for globalised communication between individuals and organizations. In the higher education sector social media has been used by universities such as the Open University to engage with the public and promote the university’s research. Facebook is used by most of the Russell group of top universities, although with varying levels of interaction. However these technologies are not truly global as their use is restricted in China and other countries.

This paper will analyse the use of the popular Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo by UK universities. Many UK universities have a presence on Weibo, whether through formal verified accounts or informal alumni groups. We will analyse the various ways in which Weibo is used for marketing, alumni and community development or public engagement. This paper will also examine the use of these sites, representing UK institutions, by Chinese students.

Through looking at the use of Weibo by UK universities and Chinese students we will be able to examine the intercultural interactions which take place in this complex social, linguistic and cultural space. This will help inform wider discussions of the impact of globalization on social media, and the importance of social media on the global flow of students from China to the UK.

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Nick Pearce

Durham University

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Time 10:10am10:40am GMT

Date Fri 12th April 2013

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