The education sector in the Australian market is emerging with the passage of time. It has been identified that the marketers in the education sector are estimating the onshore education segment in the chosen market to grow from 650,000 enrolments to 940,000 between 2017-2025, (Australian International Education 2025 - Growth and opportunity - For Australian education institutions - Austrade. 2017). It can be identified from the above figures that the international sector in the Australian market is estimated to contribute $33 billion by 2025 (Australian International Education 2025 - Growth and opportunity - For Australian education institutions - Austrade. 2017). Therefore, it is understood that international education is growing with time. The present study is a marketing evaluation for Bond University in the Australian market. Emphasizing on the present education trend, the study attempts to strategy a marketing plan for the chosen organization for 2018. Effective frameworks like STP (segmentation targeting positioning), SWOT, PEST, etc are to be used to understand the position of the brand in the Australian education market and its future prospects.
Bond University has been established in 1987, it is a private non-profit organization (2016 Annual Report. 2016). It has been identified that in the year 2017, the brand has been ranked as number one university in the Australian market (2016 Annual Report. 2016). It has been observed that the university has been funded by a joint venture group named, Bond Corporation in the Australian market and EIE International, the Japanese entity (2016 Annual Report. 2016). In the year, 1987, the Parliament of Queensland has granted the university status to Bond University in the Australian market through the passage of Bond University Act (2016 Annual Report. 2016). Further, the University was commenced on teaching activity in the Year 1989 with total 322 students.
Market and demand assessment
In the opinion of Gök & Hacioglu (2010), it can be identified that almost organization in the similar sector is offering the similar kinds of products in the Australian market. It has been identified that Bond University has the strength of total 5000 students and the brand manage to earn AU$ 10,000 per student (Fees & costs. 2017). Inference can be drawn from the above figure that majority of eh students in the specific market fails to afford the admission fee of the similar university. Information highlighted in the official site of the chosen organization highlight that although the fees structure is considerably higher, yet, the university has planned for several governmental funding options explicitly for the Australian and the New Zealand students (Karp, 2017). It has been identified in 2017, Bond University has been awarded 5-star rating for better student experiences (Fees & costs. 2017). The Indigenous teaching initiatives had resulted in exceptional outcomes, including a 79% growth in Indigenous student division and 96% of retention rate for Indigenous undergraduate students (Fees & costs. 2017). Thus, the brand managed to generate decent damned rate with its successful operation.
In 2013, almost 1.3 million students had enrolled for higher education in Australia (Karp, 2017). The records between 2010-2013 reveal that the enrolment rate amongst international students has dropped by 25% (Sydney.edu.au 2017). However, since, 2014, the sector has experienced a reverse situation where international students had created a record in its enrolment rate. It has also been witnessed that the female students had outnumbered the male students by 100:80 ratio (Sydney.edu.au 2017). The numerical balance has further increased, where the male enrolment rate has fallen from 84.1 to 79.3 per 100 females (Sydney.edu.au 2017).
Inference can be drawn from the previous information that the enrolment rate is greater amongst the international customers for the graduate and post-graduate education. On the other hand, the enrolment rates amongst the female candidates the greater than the male’s candidates (Sydney.edu.au 2017). Therefore, it can be understood that the target customers of Bond University, Australia is the female international customers. As the enrolment rate amongst the male students is fluctuation with time, but the rate is constant amongst the female customers.
Bond is identified as the four national finalists in the ‘Australian Financial Review Higher Education Graduate Employability Award’ (Fees & costs. 2017). Moreover, the university is also shortlisted in nurturing the employability initiative of total 500 submissions and further managed to receive ‘Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards’ (Fees & costs. 2017). The above initiative of Bond University’s reflects that its overall score for the graduate enrolment and admission outcomes has increased by 4.8% between 2014 and 2015 as compared to 0.4% average growth across 42 universities in the Australian market (Fees & costs. 2017).
Information highlighted in “The Guardian” article reflects that in 2017, the Australian government had announced to cut university funding via two years’ efficiency dividend. Therefore, the admission fees in the Australian universities have increased up to $2.8 billion (Karp, 2017). Further information reveals that, in the 9th May 2017 budget, the government announced to reduce the payment threshold for education loans from $55,000 to $42,000 (Karp, 2017).
As per the report of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the international education in the Australian market has been the largest export earner with $19.5 billion in 2015 (Australia’s international education sector worth more than previously estimated | Ministers' Media Centre, Australian Government. 2017). It has been observed that the emerging pace of the international education has created 130,000 job opportunities in the market (Australia’s international education sector worth more than previously estimated | Ministers' Media Centre, Australian Government. 2017).
In the opinion of Hanssens et al. (2016), it can be identified that international education has been considerably appreciated in the present time. Students have already developed the psychology f getting a better degree from the international institutes (Hsu et al. 2016). Especially, the female candidate is processing with the specific thought process, therefore, despite the presence of the reputed university in the domestic region, students seems to be pursuing the international education (Hult et al. 2017). Same had been the case of Bond University. It has been identified the enrolment of Australian students in the US and New Zealand is greater and the admission rate of the students belonging from the specified regions are greater in Bond University (Katsikeas et al. 2016). Therefore, the social preferences amongst the population had been international education, which encourages Bond University to target the international female students over is local candidates.
Currently, Australian education sector is using Information Communication Technology (ICT) to increase the interest level amongst the students’ studies. According to Lowe et al. (2016), ICT is an umbrella term which includes application, television, cellular phones, computers, etc. Students are often tough with diversified practical measures in which ICT tool is used.
Competitor analysis including aim, objectives and marketing promotion analysis
It has been identified that the University of Sydney has been its potential competition of Bond University in the Australian education sector. 2014 statistics reflects that the brand has managed to generate a total base of 52,789 students (Our strategic goals - Faculty of Health Sciences - The University of Sydney. 2017). In 2015, the strength of its administrative staff was increased up to 5,350 (Our strategic goals - Faculty of Health Sciences - The University of Sydney. 2017). Therefore, the university is gaining popularity with the passage of time and managed to retain students as well as its potential staff (Massey, 2012). On the other hand, the staff turnover rate in the Bond University is substantially higher. Further information of University of Sydney is discussed below:
The aim of the University of Sydney is to prepare its graduates for the present, future work roles and to have a sense of responsibility towards environments (Our strategic goals - Faculty of Health Sciences - The University of Sydney. 2017). The high impact research of the university is often recognized and translated its practice and policies based on the national and international education requirements (Our strategic goals - Faculty of Health Sciences - The University of Sydney. 2017).
The brand has an objective expand its branches in the international market within next 5 years down the line (Our strategic goals - Faculty of Health Sciences - The University of Sydney. 2017). The brand has a clear defined objective of collaborating with the government agents, health sector, alumni, etc. the University of Sydney also has the objective of collecting adequate fund from the regional government and help the international students to get admitted within affordable range.
The brand uses both ATL (above the line) and BTL (below the line) marketing initiatives to promote its education modules and key benefits (Our strategic goals - Faculty of Health Sciences - The University of Sydney. 2017). In the ATL line, the university used advertising and sponsorship platforms to get wider exposure in the global context. On the other hand, in the BTL lines, the brand uses social media and networking sites to have direct communication with the prospects and promoting its education-related information before the school pass outs (Moeller & Harvey, 2011).
In the opinion of Nenonen et al. (2016), it can be identified that Bond University manage to maintain a strong relationship with its students. It has been identified that the university has increased various course lines for the students starting from professional courses to generic line courses (Ramaseshan et al. 2013). It specifically uses social media to promote its scholarship programs and career development opportunities. This helps the brand to increase its unique exposure before the students planning for international education.
The major weakness of the university has been its size. According to Resnick et al. (2016), the university is medium sized as compared to the other university famous for international education. It has observed that students often prioritises university that are worldwide popular. Hence, in this context, the Bond University is lagging behind University of New South Wales, University of Melbourne, etc.
Bond University has arranged for external funding opportunities for the students planning to pursue international courses. It has arranged for NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarships to fund the students planning to appear for the Ph.D. module (External funding opportunities. 2017).
The turnover rate of the staff in the particular university is comparatively higher than the other university. Moreover, the Australian government has already increased the admission fees (Xu et al. 2016). Since it is a medium sized university; therefore, it would be difficult to convince students to get admitted in a medium sized university with high admission fee.
Value and brand positioning analysis
Information gathered from the 2016 annual report of Bond University reflects that Bond University has been rated with 5-star ranks in the Australian market for the efforts the brand has taken to improve the education experiences of students, learning resources, teaching quality, learners’ engagements (External funding opportunities. 2017). 2016 survey result highlights that Bond has been ranked second in the Australian market for excellent student support and additional skill development amongst the students (External funding opportunities. 2017). It can be perceived from the previous discussion that both the popularity and the goodwill of the university are increasing with the passage of time. Therefore, the probability of increasing the current statistics of student admission and enrollment rate is higher.
Marketing aim and promotional objectives for 2018
It has been already discussed in the previous context that the Australian government has already cut down the fund rate for students, therefore, planned to increase the admission fees as well. Therefore, the primary aim of Bond University is to offer suitable financial facilities before the students to at least retain its existing strength. It has been identified that the increasing range in admission fee had been major of the international students. Therefore, Bond University can take initiatives of promoting its scholarship facilities through different promotional channels. The brand can conduct an online context for scholarship purposes, where students would be allowed to apply for any country of the world. This specific activity would not require much budget. The brand can easily create a form on its official website and students would be allowed to participate in the context after the form fill up. This can serve benefits in generating fresh leads. Moreover, the brand can take further initiatives like:
Career fairs: For this specific initiative, the brand would just require the asset up cost which would range between $ 600-$1,200. Herein, Bond University would get better exposure before the potential prospects.
Social awareness in schools:
The brand can also participate in the community development activities and also collaborate with schools and sponsor some of the education of students with good marks. For the overall activity, the brand might need to invest $ 40,000 – $ 90,000.
Marketing mix strategies
Bond University offers three types of courses including undergraduate, post graduation and generic subjects. It has been identified that the course designed are structures keeping in mind both the domestic and international education demands. The brand has places both the generic and professional courses under each degree.
As discussed above the brand has designed its course curriculum based on the students country origin. The fees structure for domestic students and international students are considerably different. The fees ranges are discussed below:
Subject costs ($)
Undergraduate program fee schedule
$100,920 – $189,225
Postgraduate Program Fee Schedule
$18,236 - $ 76,995
Schedule of Subject Fees
$2,566 - $ 34,644
2018 Undergraduate and Postgraduate Program Fee Schedule
$37,813 - $186,868
Table 1: Domestic fees of Bond University
(Source: External funding opportunities. 2017)
Subject costs ($)
Undergraduate program fee schedule
$100,920 – $189,225
Postgraduate Program Fee Schedule
$18,236 - $ 90,256
Schedule of Subject Fees
$2,202- $ 34,644
2018 Undergraduate and Postgraduate Program Fee Schedule
$38,886 - $197,032
English Language Program Fees
$200 - $ 4,920
Table 1: International fees of Bond University
(Source: External funding opportunities. 2017)
Bond University is presently located in Gold Coast, Robina, Queensland in the Australian market.
Bond University promotes its product lines through commercial advertisement and hoarding. Moreover, the brand also promotes its products through social networking channels and corporate sites.
It has already been identified in the above sections that the brands are already recognised for its greater size. Moreover, the major discrepancy of Bond University is its high turnover rates of the staff members (Katsikeas et al. 2016)). Although, the student retention rate is substantially decent, yet, the retention rates for staff are fickle. In the similar context, Hanssens et al. (2016) mentioned that after a certain point of time, student prioritises certain teaching techniques of teachers for few subjects. Therefore, it is necessary for the university to retain few of its experienced staff those have the quality to get engaged with students. Therefore, besides students’ enrolment, Bond University focuses on increasing recreational measures for its staff and also to impose effective motivating measures to retain its staff motivation.
Media and budget allocation for 2018
Nenonen et al. (2016) mentioned that question mark represents the products that have a high market share but low growth rate. It has been identified, in the Bond University, Australia; postgraduate programs can be placed under the particular category. Since the course fees of the specific course curriculum are high, therefore, a stable admission rate can lead to decent cash generation. However, due to excessive fees, students look for alternative options. Therefore, the growth rate is low.
As per Hanssens et al. (2016), star indicated the products or services that help an organisation to increase its market share and attain relative growth. The undergraduate international course curriculum can be placed under the particular section. According to Nenonen et al. (2016), the majority of the international students prefer taking admission for undergraduate course curriculums. Therefore, the growth rate and the market share of the specific segment is consistently higher.
Cash cow indicates the products that have a high market share but the low growth rate in the market (Katsikeas et al. 2016). The subject course has been recognised under the specific category. It has been identified that the admission fees in the subject course are comparatively lesser that the other curriculums but the demand rate are high.
In the context of the similar statement, Nenonen et al. (2016) mentioned that dog represents the products and service lines that have low market share and growth rate. Presently, almost every course curriculums of Bond University in the Australian market are in decent position. Therefore, none of the courses of Bond University are identified under the dog section and each of the curriculums has decent potential to get a hold in the university.
Industry (competitors sales/market share)
In 2013, total 16,301 students had enrolled in MBA course. Amongst which 42% students got admitted for international education purpose. On the other hand, 56.7% of students had enrolled for the similar subject from Australia. It has been identified that the University of Technology, Sydney, managed to admit 505 domestic students and 305 international students. Thus, the market share of the brand for the specific year was 7.7%.
PLC (Product Life Cycle)
The brand has been established in the year 1987. In the specific year, the brand has managed to operate in the Australian market with 322 students. Therefore, the specific year has been the introductory stage of the chosen brand.
It has been identified that since the introductory stages, the brand had struggled with its various marketing initiatives to create a brand positioning in the Australian market for both the domestic and international students. The duration between 2009-2011 had been the growth stage for Bond University (Experience Bond University RIGHT Now. 2017). It has been observed that between the particular phases, the domestic student's enrolment was increased by 30% and international by 65% (Experience Bond University RIGHT Now. 2017).
In the year 2012 -2016, Bond University had attained the maturity stage. The brand has placed different criteria for non-award students and in this category; enrollment rate was increased by 63% (Experience Bond University RIGHT Now. 2017). The organisation managed to capture 28% of students for the post-graduation level and 66% of students at the undergraduate level (Experience Bond University RIGHT Now. 2017).
Presently the Australian political scenario is getting unfavorable for the education sector. The funding opportunities are decreased, Since, the international students had been the primary strength of the university, thus, such adverse action can definitely affect the high figures of international admission rates. Therefore, it is estimated that onwards 2017, the brand can witness the decline stage.
Market share and growth data
2014 statistics reflects that Bond University’s admission rate was 0.428%. However, in 2015, the rate was 0.425% (Fees & costs. 2017). However, the total absolute numbers of students have increased from 5,880 to 5,994. However, an inference can be drawn from the previous statistics that that market share of Bond University might remain constant to 0.42% in 2018.
Expected outcomes and conclusion
The fierce competition in the Australian education industry and the unfavorable political scenario is an obstruction for the growth of Bond University. Since the brand is targeting majorly on the international students, therefore, unfavorable political scenario increase in the international education system. Therefore, Bond University might not be able to make an outstanding performance in 2018.
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