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University Websites Design in International Student Recruitment: Some Reflections

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Abstract

This chapter proposes a new conceptual framework of university website design as a communication tool in marketing higher education to international students. It provides some perspectives as to why current web advertising may not be an effective marketing strategy and offers a few website design as an effective marketing tool to reach out to international students across the globe. The author proposes that in addition to the standard information on academic programs and tuition fees, university websites could be customized to provide specific information for different regions regarding country affiliations, cultural needs and admission requirements.

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... With the advancement of information technology, websites have become a vital marketing communication tool for recruiting students, as they are often the first point of search for prospective students in terms of general information as well as insight into university life. However, the universities' websites are not solely designed to provide information for prospective students because they are obliged to present a lot of information on their website to various stakeholders such as the media, prospective students and staff (Mogaji, 2016a). Unlike the websites, prospectuses are specifically designed to provide information for prospective students and therefore provide more coherent narratives associated with student recruitment. ...
... Various studies have explored the information search pattern of prospective students. In most cases, they are under-informed on important matters regarding their choice and some of the students did not consider it necessary to become personally involved in an information search (Mogaji, 2016a;James et al., 1999;Menon et al., 2007Menon et al., , 2010. Furthermore, many students only search for information about local universities and may not search further if they feel their needs have been met. ...
... Menon et al. (2007) also noted that students who considered the choice of higher education important were found to be more likely to engage in an information search, while students who felt that the choice of higher education was not important did not seem to bother with collecting significant information. Building on Menon et al. (2007), Mogaji (2016a) argued that universities should stimulate information searches by prospective students by providing relevant information through promotional campaigns, invitations to prospective students for visits to the university premises, and well-designed websites. In a similar vein, Menon (2004) suggested that higher education institutions can focus on their comparative strengths, making their university appealing through advertisement and by maintaining informative websites. ...
Article
Purpose Prospective students are exposed to abundant choices, and they are eagerly searching for information to select the best universities for themselves. Likewise, prospectuses are regularly produced by universities to meet this information needs; the purpose of this paper is to examine the key marketing messages used in their prospectuses. Design/methodology/approach The 2017 undergraduate prospectuses of 121 universities in the UK (out of the 134 members of University UK) were thematically analysed using NVivo10. Findings Messages were predominantly about the location, the course, student experience, credibility and career progression. They are framed in an appealing way, filled with facts and figures, images of beautiful buildings and smiling students, testimonials of facilities and experiences that form a sense of compatibility and belonging. Research limitations/implications This study provides insights for the higher educational institutions to enhance their future marketing communications strategies in terms of effectively differentiating one university from another by highlighting the predominantly used appeals among 121 prospectuses and the need for adopting a more consistent approach between the clearing period and non-clearing period in terms of designing the prospectuses. This study has considered only the print platform, and therefore future studies should also look at social media and university websites in the context of the integrated marketing communications. Practical implications Accurate and coherent narratives should be provided, taking into consideration the diverse nature of target audience. Universities need to realise that they can be held responsible for the promises presented in their prospectuses. Using the city appeal by many universities may be challenging, as there is need to attract students not just to the city itself, but to the university’s campus. Originality/value Having a significantly larger sample than any other previous studies in this field, the empirical evidence provided in this paper is rich and in-depth, thanks to the size and age of the sample as well as the integrated and combined methodological approach. Five keys themes with sub-themes, descriptions and examples were provided, suitable for future research in higher education marketing.
... Websites and social media have become a unique media for brands to communicate these values (Gökerik, et al., 2018). Prospective students, researchers, and partners often consider the website as a source of information (Mogaji, 2016b), more so it can be updated regularly, it is accessible to a global audience, and content can be well detailed and easily updated. ...
... The emergence of the Internet has enabled many end-users to search for information themselves as there is a practically immeasurable amount of information, with its own unique set of information characteristics (Knight & Spink, 2008;Xie, 2010). The Internet has also become an important marketing communication tool for recruiting university students, as prospective students check the websites to get quick information and insight into life at the universities (Mogaji, 2016b). The Internet offers geographically remote students a means to access the universities and information on their courses (Armstrong & Lumsden, 2000). ...
... These findings are relevant for University administrators working on creating a platform for academics branding. Secondly, it added to the study of digital branding, recognizing the role of websites in higher education (Mogaji, 2016b;Saichaie & Morphew, 2014;Ortagus & Tanner, 2019), Universities need their website to market their programs, present their faculties and facilities. ...
Chapter
The growing interest in the Internet and other digital technologies, transforming the practice of education has led to the emergence of novel uses of new media for engaging with stakeholders. This study explored the web profile academic staff in Nigerian Universities to understand how academic staff are using the platform to position their academic brand in this digital age. The ALARA model of information search was adopted, taking on a qualitative approach in understanding how information are presented and accessed on websites. The analysis revealed that academic staff are not taking ownership and responsibility for their pages, and they are making little effort to develop their academic brand in this digital age. This study contributes to knowledge of academic branding; with implications for University administrators working on creating a platform for academics branding. This study also contributes to the literature on the general guidelines on usability evaluations of websites to improve staff profile webpages.
... Market segmentation stems from knowing your target market and the students a university wants to recruit. In the HE sector, segmentation of student markets into segments of students with comparable needs and/or characteristics permits universities to match positioning strategies based on core differentiating points to specific target markets (Mogaji, 2016). ...
... It has become evident, that universities can no longer solely rely on a mass marketing strategy and approach to recruit students (Mogaji, 2016). Target marketing or segmentation can allow a university to target specific growth areas, especially in the African HE sector, which has been mandated by its governments to recruit a more diverse study body (Mogaji, 2016). ...
... It has become evident, that universities can no longer solely rely on a mass marketing strategy and approach to recruit students (Mogaji, 2016). Target marketing or segmentation can allow a university to target specific growth areas, especially in the African HE sector, which has been mandated by its governments to recruit a more diverse study body (Mogaji, 2016). ...
Chapter
An empirical study was conducted amongst national and international students at a South African university. International students indicated that university brochures and website, recommendations of former students and information from the International Office were considered important factors in their university of choice. National students indicated that the recommendation from a former student or friend, university website and visits by university representatives were the important factors they considered. The main factors in terms of marketing and recruitment tools students accessed were adverts in media, university websites, university fairs and word of mouth. The results of this chapter will assist the international offices and marketing departments to identify the important factors to consider and focus their attention on, when recruiting students, specifically from Africa.
... Prospective students want to know the content of the course, number and pattern of assessments, accreditation with a relevant professional body and their career options if they decide to study the course (Mogaji, 2016b). Often, students may want to check the prospectus for information about their program, but there are some restrictions. ...
... Universities website has been considered an essential source of information for students. The internet has become an important marketing communication tool for recruiting university students, as prospective students check the websites to get quick information and insight into life at the universities (Mogaji, 2016b). The internet offers geographically remote students a means to access the universities and information on their courses (Armstrong & Lumsden, 2000). ...
... Thus, to market higher education in an increasingly global environment, university websites offer a convenient way to reach out to the students across the world. Gomes and Murphy's (2003) study explored how educational institutions use their websites to market to prospective students, suggesting a two way communication between the University and the prospective students, the Universities will have to provide the information for the student and it is expected that it will be relevant and timely for the searching prospective students (Mogaji, 2016b). Previous studies as also suggested that it is essential for universities to pay attention to how they communicate with their prospective students through their websites, and to update them regularly. ...
Chapter
Deciding which university to attend and what course to study are essential choices for prospective students. Given Universities’ websites have been considered a vital source of information for prospective students, this study explores the quality and quantity of information about undergraduate programs available in African Universities. The study adopts the ALARA Model of Information Search on website, a novel methodology, which brings together case study research, stakeholder roleplay and netnography. Taking the role of a prospective student, the research explores the availability, location, accessibility, relatability and actionability (ALARA) of information provided on University websites. The study found that prospective students are short-changed as the Universities are not providing enough information for them to decide. More than 70 per cent of the best Universities in Africa did not provide any information for their prospective students about the programs they intend to study. The study offers both theoretical and managerial implication. It extends knowledge about marketing higher education, understanding student information search. The study also highlights implication for University Managers, Academic staff, Marketing Communication Team, Information and Communications Team and other teams responsible for developing and updating the Universities’ website with current and relevant information about the programs offered by the University.
... Managers should be aware that different stakeholders (staff, students, parents, prospective staff, and funders) are accessing the website for information, and relevant information should be made available (Mogaji, 2016b;Olaleye et al., 2018). The layout and user interface should be appealing and inviting. ...
Chapter
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Marketing managers of higher education institutions need to acknowledge the trends that have changed the landscape for higher education marketing. African universities must make an effort to integrate their marketing communications to reach prospective students and other stakeholders. The best of Africa’s universities, probably those in the top 500 in the world, can also form a consortium to develop campuses in other emerging markets of the world, such as China and India in Asia, Mexico in North America, Turkey in Europe, and Brazil in South America. Trained and qualified human resources, who possess the sophisticated know-how that will determine where resources should be deployed immediately in the universities’ marketing plans, are needed within the team. The task of building brand applies to both established universities which need to build their existing brands, and also new universities with new brands that need to be developed. © 2020 selection and editorial matter, Emmanuel Mogaji, Felix Maringe, and Robert Ebo Hinson; individual chapters, the contributors.
... A study in the United States found that on average, students had 3.03 institutions in their consideration set (Stephenson et al., 2016), while in the UK, the average consideration HEI set size was 6.01 (Dawes & Brown, 2002), which highlights students' effort in gathering information about these HEI before making their choice. In a study conducted in the UK (El Nemar, Vrontis, & Thrassou, 2018) it was found that information is a continuous innovative process and not a stage, and so students are continually searching for information through innovative methods (Mogaji, 2016). This information flow and information gathering are critical to both students and HEI (El Nemar et al., 2018). ...
... How can these messages be strategically positioned to appeal to the students? As internet plays a crucial role in communicating and engaging with the students (Mogaji, 2016), how updated is the website to provide information? How are student engaging with social media? ...
Chapter
Understanding how student decides which University is important, more like understanding the consumer behaviour in order to develop the strategic marketing communications to engage with the students. In the competitive higher education market, developing strategies to reflect the decision making proves of the students is important for any University that wants to remain viable and attract partnership and global recognition. This concluding chapter on explorations on Student Choice in Africa presents practical implication and critical insights into factors influencing students’ choice of higher institution in Africa. Agenda for future research were also provided. It is anticipated that this will shape further discussion and theoretical advancement which will be relevant for scholars, students, managers, practitioners, and policymakers in the field of higher education marketing.
... Managers should be aware that different stakeholders (staff, students, parents, prospective staff, and funders) are accessing the website for information, and relevant information should be made available (Mogaji, 2016b;Olaleye et al., 2018). The layout and user interface should be appealing and inviting. ...
Chapter
Marketing managers of higher education institutions need to acknowledge the trends that have changed the landscape for higher education marketing. African universities must make an effort to integrate their marketing communications to reach prospective students and other stakeholders. The best of Africa’s universities, probably those in the top 500 in the world, can also form a consortium to develop campuses in other emerging markets of the world, such as China and India in Asia, Mexico in North America, Turkey in Europe, and Brazil in South America. Trained and qualified human resources, who possess the sophisticated know-how that will determine where resources should be deployed immediately in the universities’ marketing plans, are needed within the team. The task of building brand applies to both established universities which need to build their existing brands, and also new universities with new brands that need to be developed.
... Globalisation has become the focal point of higher education, as universities compete in the closely connected, global, free-market economy that is currently reshaping higher education (Mogaji, 2016b), Irrespective of the country or the type of university, the competition for higher education enrolment is acknowledged as institutions compete with each other within and across their municipal, national and continental borders to connect with prospective students. The reduced funding from Government for the public universities and the increasing number of private universities to meet this growing demand for tertiary education is also shaping the marketing strategies of universities. ...
... Maintaining an adequate rate of student enrolment is essential for universities to remain commercially viable. Thus, the university must use multiple marketing strategies including their website to provide information for prospective students on their student-centred teaching culture, employability, and career support, investment in facilities, and resources to enhance student experience in order to attract and recruit new students (Mogaji, 2016). ...
Chapter
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The higher education landscape is changing. The global competition for students’ enrolments has increased around the world. Universities are competing within their home market as well as in the international market. As government funding for public universities is reducing, there is pressure on universities to seek additional income by increasing their student enrolment. Attracting and enrolling students has become increasingly more challenging, as student behaviour is changing. These challenges present the need for higher education institutions to be more strategic in their approach to reaching out to prospective students. This concluding chapter on strategic marketing of higher education in Africa presents practical implications and critical insights into strategic marketing and brand communications of higher education institutions in Africa. Agenda for future research were also provided. It is anticipated that this will shape further discussion and theoretical advancement which will be relevant for scholars, students, managers, practitioners, and policymakers in the field of higher education marketing.
... In the academic literature Armstrong et al. (2014); Winter and Thompson-Whiteside (2015); Winter and Chapleo (2017); Simpson and Marinov (2016); Mogaji (2016); Rutter et al. (2017) all cited the paper but not in any attempt to pursue the question of misleading marketing. Five papers, however, did reference the research to take forward its key theme. ...
Article
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In 2013 this journal published the paper ‘Integrity in Higher Education Marketing: A typology of misleading data-based claims in the university prospectus.’ It argued that UK universities were using data and statistics in a misleading way in their advertising and proposed a nine-part typology to describe such claims. The present paper describes the subsequent responses in national media and academic writing. It then analyses recent developments in the regulation of university marketing in the UK, where the Advertising Standards Authority has publically rebuked universities and issued new guidance. Rulings against six UK universities are analysed and the paper considers the extent to which the new guidance addresses the nine types of misleading claims. The paper goes on to consider how issues such as this come to be addressed by regulators and what incentives will encourage universities to ensure the integrity of their marketing.
... Secondly, Managers needs to ensure that their values are well communicated to the stakeholders. This involves updating the website to highlight what the university offers (Mogaji, 2016), social media profile with content creation strategies providing relevant contents regularly, well designed and informative prospectuses, user-friendly and engaging mobile applications and public relations. The stakeholders must know what the University has to offer. ...
Chapter
African Universities are making an effort to offer values and enhance the human resources and development of the continent. Also, there are growing demands for higher education places on the continent. This paper offers a theoretical insight into the value delivery systems of the Universities and the factors influencing choice. The chapter is theoretically positioned to recognise the co-creation of value between the University and prospective students. University is delivering value through their teaching, curriculum relevance and development courses. They offer values with regards to education for enhancing human resources of a country and research making impacts in the society. Prospective students engaging with these values through their decision-making process is however essential, presenting a common ground for informed decision making which is anchored on information provided by the Universities and information processing by the students. African Universities must make information readily available to prospective students in order to make an informed decision. This chapter extends theoretical knowledge on value creation, student choice and marketing of higher education. Implications for managers with regards to the value audit, communication and engagement are also presented.
... A study in the United States found that on average, students had 3.03 institutions in their consideration set (Stephenson et al., 2016), while in the UK, the average consideration HEI set size was 6.01 (Dawes & Brown, 2002), which highlights students' effort in gathering information about these HEI before making their choice. In a study conducted in the UK (El Nemar, Vrontis, & Thrassou, 2018) it was found that information is a continuous innovative process and not a stage, and so students are continually searching for information through innovative methods (Mogaji, 2016). This information flow and information gathering are critical to both students and HEI (El Nemar et al., 2018). ...
Chapter
The factors affecting students’ choice of higher education is essential for the university’s management. Various research across the world has been carried out to understand how students select their preferred universities for tertiary study; however, there is a shortage of insight from an African perspective. Specifically focusing on a federal university in Nigeria, this study aims to explore factors influencing students’ interest in the school and why they selected it as their study location. A structured questionnaire from 282 undergraduate students based on stratified random sampling was used to understand these choice factors. The study found that personal interest greatly influenced students’ decisions, followed by parental influence, university reputation, university ranking, and fees. The results provide an understanding of students’ choices for universities in a Nigerian context, which is a loose representation of the general influences of students’ choice for study sites on the continent. This would enable stakeholders working in the Nigerian education sector including academics, administrators and practitioners and international collaborators to understand the most effective ways to reach out to prospective students and draw useful lessons for universities' marketing strategies, which could be recommended not only in Nigeria but in Africa at large.
... This is corroborated by Angulo-Ruiz et al. (2016) as they found that HEI staff are factors that profoundly affect the evaluation of a tertiary education provider selection. As suggested by Le, et al. (2019), information regarding scholarship opportunities should be clearly stated, and career prospects after graduation should be emphasised in promotional campaigns via university websites, to target the international student segment (Mogaji, 2016b). ...
Chapter
An understanding of postgraduate students’ choice criteria for universities selection is essential for marketing higher education, securing the long-term success of the universities, as well as its marketing strategy. While previous studies have focused on developed countries and undergraduate students, this chapter explores factors influencing postgraduate students’ decision making. The study recognises that the rapid expansion of the enrolment of undergraduates has also stimulated students’ enthusiasm for postgraduate studies and importantly, postgraduate students have prior experience in a university service environment (compared to undergraduate students). The semi-structured interview was conducted with first-year postgraduate students at a private university in South-West, Nigeria. Some of the participants were new to the university while some did their undergraduate studies there. Findings from the study revealed four key factors which are the desire to study for a postgraduate degree, the facilities of the University, including its geographical location, the courses on offer and influence of other stakeholders like parents, siblings and friends. This influence of stakeholders aligns with the fundamental values in a collectivist culture like Nigeria. This study contributes to the literature on higher education marketing, especially in Africa and for postgraduate students. The chapter presents an integral insight into marketing higher education in Nigeria and Africa, as this is an under-researched area.
Chapter
The growing interest in the internet and other digital technologies transforming the practice of education has led to the emergence of novel uses of new media for engaging with stakeholders. This study explored the web profile academic staff in Nigerian universities to understand how academic staff are using the platform to position their academic brand in this digital age. The ALARA model of information search was adopted taking on a qualitative approach in understanding how information are presented and accessed on websites. The analysis revealed that academic staff are not taking ownership and responsibility for their pages, and they are making little effort to develop their academic brand in this digital age. This study contributes to knowledge of academic branding with implications for university administrators working on creating a platform for academics branding. This study also contributes to the literature on the general guidelines on usability evaluations of websites to improve staff profile webpages.
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The emergence of the Internet has enabled many end-users to search for information themselves as there is practically immeasurable amount of information, often the owners of the website are not held responsible for the quantity and quality of information made available for their users to make an informed decision. The paper presents a novel methodology to explore understand how websites owners. The ALARA Model of Information search on Website is a new theoretical and methodological approach for understanding the quantity and quality of the information provided by Information Custodian. ALARA is an acronym that stands for Availability, Location, Accessibility, Relatability and Actionability. A detailed description of the methodological approach is presented. The paper ends with applicability options and the limitations of the model.
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Abstract. This paper examines misleading marketing claims in UK university prospectuses. It reviews earlier studies suggesting that the imagery and language of university marketing can be misleading. It considers the use of data and statistics by universities in their advertising – a topic not previously studied. From a sample of UK university prospectuses a typology of misleading data-based marketing claims is proposed, with nine categories: omission of facts and selective reporting; misleading wording; misleading inferences about an attribute; misleading associations between attributes; misleading endorsements; claim-fact discrepancies; falsehoods; carefully crafted comparisons, and claims without a reference point. Because choosing a university is so important to students and because universities aspire to high ethical and scholarly standards, the issues raised by these findings are significant. The two bodies empowered to address this issue in the UK do not take a proactive approach and so it must fall to universities themselves to address the ethical challenges raised by misleading marketing.
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The article analyzes the content of college viewbooks, which are designed to entice students to enroll in the universities that they represent. Viewbooks are considered a very important medium by which institutions communicate with prospective students. The authors look at the content of a wide variety of college viewbooks, examining common themes, the ways in which themes vary by institutional type and control, and what messages are communicated to students about the academic purposes of higher education. Viewbooks are an important medium for enticing students to apply to colleges. But what messages are conveyed in them? This study offers an in-depth examination of 48 viewbooks using content analysis. The findings point to the predominance of a highly privatized conception of a college education.
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The authors conducted an empirical study to test McGuire's (1984) distinctiveness theory within an advertising context. First, following the distinctiveness theory postulate, they found that members of minority groups were more likely than majority groups to have their ethnicity salient. Furthermore, in applying distinctiveness theory to persuasion, they found that members of minority (versus majority) groups find an ad spokesperson from their own ethnic group to be more trustworthy and that increased trustworthiness led to more positive attitudes toward the brand being advertised. The authors draw implications for both advertising to ethnic/minority groups as well as for further research applications of distinctiveness theory.
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This study presents a detailed analysis outlining the differences between the decision-making activities of marketing and nonmarketing business students. The results reveal the presence of important decisional differences and similarities with respect to students' information-gathering activities, consideration sets, alternative evaluations, self-perceptions, timing, and stability of the decision.
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Purpose – This paper aims to explore the information sources used by school leavers when selecting a university at which they wish to study and the perceived reliability of these sources of information. Design/methodology/approach – Using data from 306 pupils studying at various schools in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland it was revealed that applicants utilise mostly communication originating from the university itself, including the university prospectus and open days, and, they also classify such sources of information as being the most reliable. Findings – There are some differences in the perception of the various groups under investigation; for example, potential female applicants perceive most information sources to have greater credibility than their male counterparts believe. In addition, higher performers make more use of the available information sources and also place more value on their worth. Research limitations/implications – This study set out to explore aspects of student university selection that have received relatively little attention. It was limited in its scope due to resource constraints and concerns of protecting potentially vulnerable respondents, while ensuring a reasonable sample return. Originality/value – The study has accomplished it's basic task in that we are better informed as to which information sources students prefer and perceive to be reliable. Such information should, at least, allow professional student recruitment services to better direct their information salvo, but more importantly it should also raise some questions which are much in need of an answer.
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As competition increases in the education industry, public and private schools increasingly view students as consumers and market their institutions. This paper investigates the Internet’s role in communicating educational opportunities from two perspectives: students’ Internet use to facilitate information search and decision making; and educational institutions’ e-business adoption and implementation. Two surveys of international students and face-to-face interviews with marketing executives from nine Australian institutions explored the Internet’s role in marketing international education. Academically, this paper reviews how Rogers’ diffusion of innovations explains individual and organizational adoption of the Internet, and proposes future research areas. Based on this exploratory research, educational institutions gain insights of online customer service and e-business strategies for successfully recruiting students. The results show that prospective overseas students do indeed use the Internet. Institutions should immediately establish procedures for answering e-mail and review changing their Web sites to appeal to overseas students.
Article
Tertiary education has become more competitive in recent years due to reductions in government funding and higher student fees. As the nature of the environment grows more competitive, the role of marketing, previously non-existent in most universities, has grown significantly. One of the key pieces of information that would assist a university’s marketing effort is an understanding of what determines a student’s university preference. Examines university preference using a form of conjoint analysis, known as adaptive conjoint analysis (ACA), to investigate the importance of a number of attributes to high-school leavers in Australia. Results indicate that the four most important determinants of university preference were course suitability, academic reputation, job prospects, and teaching quality, which has significance for education managers developing marketing strategies and programs.
Article
Purpose – Issues such as managing brand image, assessing advertising medium effectiveness and collecting market intelligence are common practice for higher education institutions (HEIs). Consequently, understanding the information needs of potential students to the HEI when they make their decisions is paramount. The aim of this survey is to analyse the decision-making criteria of new undergraduates enrolling at a UK HEI on their first day in terms of marketing activities employed throughout the decision-making period during their last 12 months. Focusing in particular on the effectiveness of the dissemination of information with the influences on their decisions of whether or not to keep this HEI in their preferred set and to enrol (purchase) will be investigated. Design/methodology/approach – The research was designed to establish the key marketing communication activities that contribute to the student decision-making process. A survey of 318 students enrolling on their first day at a Welsh (traditional) university was achieved from a sampling frame of 469. In order to supplement the literature, four semi structured in-depth interviews with university staff (the School Manager, School Admissions Tutor, Head of Central Marketing, and Head of Central Recruitment) were also held. These interviews identified the key marketing communication themes (information sources with the application of new technologies in disseminating information during the decision-making period) that acted as the foundation for the questionnaire. The respondents were asked to consider each phase of the decision-making process and rank the information sources that had the most impact upon them. Hence a critical incident approach was employed. Findings – The results show that the respondents did receive adequate information, with details of the programme of study being most important, but they would have preferred greater use of electronic sources and especially from current undergraduates on a regular basis. If the HE senior management knows the impact in terms of the timing and content of marketing activities on potential HE students, there is a better chance of matching the information sources to the needs of the students. Originality/value – HEIs can do more for potential HE students by trying to offer the most relevant information that will satisfy each of their information needs. It is beneficial for all parties concerned that potential students are better informed and prepared to make those decisions. This is especially true as potential students are frequently young and living at home, planning to consume this “good experience” over a relatively long period of time, and the financial risks with opportunity costs involved are substantial. By addressing potential students' concerns and offering more “tailor-made” communication strategies to suit them, HEIs can easily segment the market place and then position themselves within the competitive environment.
Article
In the UK, policy developments in vocational and further education have created a market in post-16 education and training. This paper reports on an Economic and Social Research Council study and one small cohort of young people entering and moving through one such urban market. They enter with very different learning identities, aspirations and motivations, and their ‘educational inheritances’ prepare them differently for participation. Some young people simply want ajob and awage and ‘nomore learning’, others come with alongterm commitment to gaining higher qualifications. The authors both describe and explore a number of ways of conceptualizing these differences. Both despite and because of the changes in the local labour market ‘deep sub-structures of inequality’ re-emerge. The differentiation of routes and ‘spaces’ of opportunity confronting these young people are reproductive of social class divisions.
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This random sample, three-year study examines the home pages of four-year colleges and universities on the World Wide Web. Using a five-level relationship marketing model, Web page content was analyzed focusing on pre-transaction student recruitment strategies in three content areas: applications, faculty, and tours. Descriptive and statistical results indicate increasing amounts of interactivity and two-way communication from 1997 to 1999.
Article
A major promotional tactic for higher education marketers is the use of printed promotional materials to recruit freshmen students. These promotional materials range from full color glossy brochures to simple letters on university letterhead. They are sent to students during their junior and senior years in high school.The research reported in this article attempted to provide in-depth information on the impact of these promotional materials through the use of student focus groups. Students from a large, southern metropolitan university were asked about the impact of these promotional materials on their college choice decision. The students provided detailed suggestions on the ways to improve the method of distribution, graphic design, and content of the materials.
Article
This paper examines the information provided by English Universities to overseas students enquiring about undergraduate courses. Previous research confirms the importance of information during the pre–consumption stage within a service setting such as Higher Education and yet suggests that there is a reluctance by Universities to provide such information. This paper tests the findings of these studies by requesting information from English Universities through the post and analysing their postal response. Results indicate that there is a lack of market orientation and customer focus in the service being provided and that Universities could achieve a competitive advantage in the short and long term if they became more aware of the needs of overseas students and improved the level of customer service provided.
Article
The paper presents the findings of a study of the decision-making process which precedes the choice of a university in Greece. Specifically, the degree of rationality exhibited by prospective students is assessed in an attempt to provide a test for the economic approach to the explanation of human behaviour. Information search is used as an indication of rationality and measured through a survey conducted among 220 university students in the academic year 2003/2004. The findings provide weak support for the rationality postulate in that they indicate that more than 40% of respondents could not be classified as information seekers. Logistic regression analysis was used in order to identify characteristics associated with the propensity to engage in information search: high socioeconomic status students, students who perceived the decision as important, and students who had acquired information prior to the choice of a university were found to be more likely to engage in information search. The paper draws attention to the limitations of the economic rational man model of human behaviour and discusses the implications of the findings for the promotional strategy of universities.
Article
Since the recent changes in the system of student finance in England, studies focusing on the impact of increased debt and the effect of the bursary system have concluded that the chances of achieving stated policy objectives in relation to widening and increasing levels of participation have been reduced. This study considers the full financial package rather than particular elements, using survey data collected soon after students are expected to apply to university. The study finds that many students do not take into account the ‘financial package’ when making decisions on whether to apply and which university to apply to. They appear to be just as ignorant of grants and loans as bursaries; a large proportion of students with a perceived family income that would have entitled them to a full or partial maintenance grant did not consider themselves eligible (42 and 53% respectively). Students seem to have got the message that going to university is costly and will leave them in debt, but in many cases they do not have the information on what may moderate the costs for them. It will only be possible for policy to work if support can be provided that effectively influences the decision heuristics of students. KeywordsStudent finance-Widening participation-University applications-Decision heuristics
Article
Why has Australian offshore higher education become the educational investment of choice for many students? What benefits do students anticipate from this education? What is the relationship between educational goals and educational experience? To address these questions, this paper draws on findings from empirical research conducted with students studying at an offshore campus of an Australian university in Malaysia. It was found that students typically chose to enroll with the Australian university to receive an international education. Reasons offered for seeking an international education effectively delineated two groups of students. For Malaysian nationals, an international education was valued largely as a passport to employment with (Western) multinational corporations operating in Malaysia. Generally the Malaysian students made positional investments in Australian offshore higher education. For non-Malaysian students an international education was typically selected as an aid to procuring a new identity. These students chose an international education with the hope of expunging provincial outlooks. From international education, they wanted new ways of viewing the world, new habits of thinking and new skills and approaches. They sought a personal metamorphosis. These students, therefore, typically made self-transformative investments in international education. The paper further shows that investment choices influenced the way students experienced their education. Of the two populations distinguished by investment type, students who made self-transformative investments were more likely to respond positively to challenging education experiences associated with studying at the campus.
Article
Incl. abstract, graphs, tables, bibl. Over the last decade higher education institutions in Australia have moved towards a model of 'managerialism' due predominantly to changes in government funding policies. As a consequence of the need to compete with other universities for students, university managers have increasingly focused upon marketing techniques used in for-profit organisations to attract and retain students. This paper focuses on the question of whether, and in what ways, the marketing technique of segment profiling can be effectively employed to measure the potential of new market segments and the viability of strategic planning goals in the higher education sector. Geo-demographic data from the student database of a regional Australian university were cross-matched with segment profiling data from a nearby regional centre to ascertain the viability of the region for the establishment of an undergraduate 'satellite' campus. The results of the study show that the technique is useful in reducing the risk of specific strategic planning goals by identifying the potential of new market segments and streamlining target marketing practices. The implications of these findings are discussed with reference to the future success of strategic planning goals achieved by managers in higher education.
Article
This paper investigates the degree of information search that preedecons the choice of a private third-level educational institution in Cyprus. Information search is used as an indication of rationality in order to provide a test for the economic approach to the explanation of human behaviour. A survey was conducted among 120 college students in the academic year 1998/99. The findings indicate that information search among students contemplating the choice of a private college was less than expected under traditional economic theory. Logistic regression analysis was used in order to identify characteristics associated with the propensity to engage in information search: low socioeconomic status students and students who perceived the decision as important were found to be more likely to engage in information search. The paper points to the need for taking into account the influence of both economic and non-economic variables in the attempt to explain human behaviour.
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