Universities should ‘stop inflating the language’ in their marketing communications and return to old-fashioned virtues, such as truthfulness, integrity, modesty and dedication if they want to win back public trust.

That was the blunt warning from Dr Sijbolt Noorda, the opening keynote speaker at a conference of European higher education public relations and communication practitioners held in Innsbruck, Austria this month.

The former President of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands and current President of the Academic Cooperation Association, or ACA, said he was shocked by the ‘semantic inflation’ when recently surveying the language used on 50 university business school websites.

“Everything was ‘top’, ‘world-class’ or ‘excellent’. In my book, excellence represents the top 2.5%,” he said.

Read more about what he had to say on the EUPRIO.eu website.

Main photo: “Mind your language” says Dr Sijbolt Noorda