CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL ASPECTS OF PUBLICATIONS ON UNIVERSITY WEBSITES (CASE STUDY OF REGIONAL UNIVERSITIES)

  • The authors:
    Svetlana Yu. Dvinina
  • Issue: July 24-26th, 2019
  • Pages: 264-273
  • Section: CULTURAL SOCIOLOGY AND EDUCATION
  • URL: http://conference-ifl.rudn.ru/264-273/
  • DOI:
    10.22363/09669-2019-264-273

Abstract. The present work studies publications on the websites of two
Russian regional universities (Chelyabinsk State University and South Ural
State University, the Russian version) which are situated in the multicultural
region and work with applicants from Asia and Africa. The unique history
of the region may it possible to outline specific strategies and digital
opportunities to reflect university life, including its cultural and educational
components. It analyses positive and negative aspects of publications to
attract local and foreign prospective students and pays special attention to
news about cultural events. The research shows how publications reflect
university policy and discusses strategies to improve cross-cultural
activities.
The work studies the general overview of two university websites, their
sliders, news sections as well as changes in the content during a six-month
period. The slider of Chelyabinsk State University website differs by its
simplicity of information presentation and lacks any unique character,
reflecting the so-called “educational path” from childhood to university
graduation. In comparison, the slider of South Ural State University website
traditionally uses more pictures than the one of Chelyabinsk State
University and shows the university policy and its international status.
The six-month period of watching the given websites signals about a
positive tendency in the slider of South Ural State University where the
number of pictures has been reduced from twelve to eight and the absence
of “kaleidoscope” effect has become more comfortable for viewers to focus
on the news they are interested in. In the slider of Chelyabinsk State
University we can notice a negative tendency because the number of
pictures has been reduced from four to two and it produces an effect of no
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DOI: 10.22363/09669-2019-264-273
university life, which cannot attract any prospective students who look for
friendly and lively atmosphere with implications for a possible successful
future.
In the news section the research looks at the time period of updating, the
presentation format and the content. The website of South Ural State
University publishes news more often than Chelyabinsk State University.
The high frequency of publications has its advantages (the evidence of
lively university life) and disadvantages (viewers can miss some significant
news). The number of news is similar on both websites (8 and 10,
respectively). However, the key difference between two news sections is the
visualization of news on the website of South Ural State University. It is
especially important for international students. In the content of publications
the priorities of university news at South Ural State University are the
following: cross-cultural aspects, technologies, communication. Most pieces
of news offer a mixture of these priorities. The subjects of publications on
the website of Chelyabinsk State University are different depending on the
period and have no permanent strategy. In the autumn of 2018 the news
section told the viewers about cross-culture relations, prospective students,
science and education while in the spring of 2019 they show the interest of
the university in its personnel. Unfortunately, this positive idea almost
neglects students, prospective students and science, and makes it ignore
cross-cultural aspects.
The websites of universities should choose topics of publications much
more carefully as the “clip mind” generation can detect “empty” news quite
easily. Moreover, bad navigation and the absence of visualization can push
off the young viewers. To attract prospective students, home and foreign
ones, the public relations of universities should put an emphasis on the
human-centered factor as communication and abilities connected with it are
of great importance nowadays.
The international activity of universities should be shown through
interaction of local students and cross-border ones. The current website
versions reflect home and foreign students separately which should be
overcome in the future.
Keywords: education, culture, prospective students, foreign students, space

Svetlana Yu. Dvinina
Chelyabinsk State University, Chelyabinsk, Russia,
e-mail: lana-dvinska@mail.ru
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5661-5758

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