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Marketing And Competitive Environment Of A University Brand

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Question:

Discuss about the Marketing and Competitive Environment of a University Brand.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

The report following report is conducted on the marketing strategies and competitive environment of the University of New South Wales in Australia.  The University of New South Wales is one of largest research and teaching university. The university has an increasing popularity across Australia. The university has developed an academic environment where outstanding students as well as scholar across the world pursue their programs of study and research. The purpose of the report is to identify the current marketing strategies and assess its efficiency compared to others in the industry. The report provides an intensive analysis of the current marketing strategies of University of New South Wales.

Market background

NSW in Australia is rapidly growing due to its enhanced marketing strategies. Australian universities have observed an intensive review as well as reform over the past few years. As the Federal government launched a “demand-driven” funding model for the universities, NSW in Sydney has paved its way for increasing the number of domestic students during the period 2012 to 2015 (Research.unsw.edu.au UNSW, 2017).  On the other side, as Australian economy is persistently stable, people are able to spend more money on the universities for receiving higher quality of education.  In addition to this, another major significant driver that positively influences the growth of New South Wales is the enrolment of international students. As the government has made changes in the VISA, thousands of students receive the opportunity to pursue higher education in the top universities of large cities like Sydney.

 

Market summary

As mentioned by Wheelahan et al., (2012) the demand of high quality of education in Australia is rapidly increasing. Undoubtedly, the universities are gaining a huge amount of profits as they have student from both domestic as well as international market. As mentioned by Behrendt et al., (2012) Australian universities are highly preferred by the students of Asian countries. However, though the demand of Australian education is high, the market has entry barriers due to stringent regulations and high cost of infrastructure.  The Australian universities have observed a high cost, which is associated with the delivery of higher education. This may include recruitment of qualified academic teachers, advertising, design and enhancement of course content. The revenue of the university is estimated to expand at an annual rate of 4.5% during the period 2016-2017 (Bossu, Bull & Brown, 2012).

Market demand Assessment

As discussed earlier, the demand of Australian education is significantly high as the universities have been able to provide the desired quality of education. In such context, Siemens, Shah & Sid Nair (2013) commented that the Australian universities have gained the tremendous popularity due to the availability of stable economy, advanced technology,  favorable regulatory framework and persistent support from the government of the country. On the other side, it is also identified that as the online education is highly preferred in the country, the requirement for classroom is reduced, which eventually decrease the cost of infrastructure for existing universities. However, the new university or the entrants may not get the opportunity to provide online education due to lack of market share and popularity in the new environment (Behrendt et al., 2012). Additionally, it has been found out that Australian universities do not differentiate the domestic students. Therefore, the enrollment of domestic students remains high. For example, the University of New South Wales provides a very similar array of course programs to students of home country with no price competition. Nonetheless, the differences in price have only been found in the global environment.

 

Segmentation and Target market

Demographic segmentation-Some particular aspects are usually considered while segmenting the customers demographically. The aspects are such as age, religion, gender, family size, income and education (Sharma & Lambert, 2013).  When it comes to age and life cycle, the universities know, the needs of the students might change. The University of New South Wales pays the major attention on Post Graduate and the Ph.D students who do not want to drop education in the middle of the course. The graduate and high school student have the tendency to drop education in the middle of the course and then again, they join after years.

However, universities cannot earn desired profits from the high school and under graduate students. Based on Australian culture, it is observed that demand of marketing is course programs are high in Australia. Thus, NSW focuses on the students who are interested in marketing programs such MBA and BM. As the economy is comparatively high in Australia, the cost of the programs are little higher but affordable. The families located in the large cities like Sydney, Canberra are prime customers of NSW as the families living in the urban areas and capital of Australia have high disposable income than the sub-urban areas.

Geographic segmentation- The opportunities of higher education are largely available in Australia, student from different countries prefer to pursue education. Almost 31% of international student are from the Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Maldives, and Middle East countries (Harmon 2015).

Target market- The target markets of University of New South Wales are both the tier-tier-II and I cities in the domestic environment.  A large percentage of students from domestic environment take admission at UNSW. However, the focus of the university is also on the Asian market. Almost 13% of international students are from India. Thus, India is one the major market of UNSW (Shah & Sid Nair. 2013).

Current marketing mix analysis

Product: As the demand of marketing is comparatively high than others, UNSW provides different marketing programs such as Master’s Business Administration, HRM courses, product development programs, Service Strategy, Strategic Branding, health science, law, finance and many more (Research.unsw.edu.au UNSW, 2017).

Price- Implementing the principles of regulatory framework, UNSW sets the competitive prices for its products or courses. For postgraduate Master’s Degree, the university charges AUD$20,000 to $37000 per year for international students. However, domestic students, the cost will be about $17,500 to $ 31,500 dollar (Research.unsw.edu.au UNSW, 2017).

Promotion-In order to promote the services and courses NSW arranges different educational campaign in different cities Australia. Moreover, in order to reach the global market, the university has paid the attention to social media marketing. The marketing department promotes the courses by developing an advertisement featuring content of course, galleries, infrastructure, events, and alumni programs on social media tools like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. 

Place- University of New South Wales has developed its campus and construction especially in Tier –I cities like Sydney and Canberra.

 

PEST analysis

Political environment- As put forward by Butler et al., (2013) the Australian government has always been supportive towards the private universities. However, certain regulations have been imposed on private universities. In the recent time, Australian government expressed a demand to maximize the number of students from a larger diversity of backgrounds. In addition, the government of Australia is developing several mechanisms to supervise the quality of learning and teaching in the tertiary education.

Environmental- The end of last financial year in Australia indicates that economic position of the country is stable. The nation carries an enviable and strong economy with per capita GDP. However, the funding in higher education sector is very tight as well as competitive. As put forward by Doherty, Steel and Parrish (2012), education is the foundation of Australian economy as the sector employs almost 8% of the workers.

Social- The needs students and their expectation are changing. As the fees of the courses have increased, a considerable shift is identified in Australia’s education sector- client-centre focus. The universities are perceived to be modern with the developed structure and enhanced teaching style.

Technology- As Australia is technologically developed, the higher education sector in the country has embraced the innovation technology. Each university has individual online portal for internal submission of projects, papers and other tasks.

Competitor analysis

The major competitor of University of New South Wale is Western Sydney University. WSU is step ahead due to its capital investment and strategic capability (Bentley et al., 2013)

Objective

  • To become the leading global university
  • To provide the advanced courses with the technology and highly skilled staff
  • To create a diverse environment of education
  • To become the largest research centre in the world

Strategy

  • Major focus on the large market such as European nations
  • Promote Australian education in the global environment
  • Hire global talents for high quality of education
  • Reduced the cost of operation and attract highest number of students

Strategic Capability

  • Highly qualified staff
  • High tech multi-media labs
  • A diversified workforce
  • Strong financial background as the university takes part in the CSR activities

Assumptions

  • Western Sydney University could be a major threat for University New South Wales as the University has strong global presence. WSU covers the entire European market, especially, the economically developed countries like Germany, Russia. In the near future, Western Sydney University could get into the Asian market.
 

SWOT analysis

Strength

v  High demand in the internal environment

v  Wide reach due to the strong presence in digital media

v  Outstanding performance achievement

v  Located in the Tier-1 city

Weaknesses

v  Lack of skilled and competent technical staff

v  UNSW is not able to offer job opportunities to students

v  Lack of shareholders

Opportunities

v  As the government had made changes in the VISA requirement, the University has many opportunities to enroll students from all nations

v  As the government cannot arrange the fund for public universities’ enhancement, the private university like NSW is high preferred.

Threats

v  Increasing competition among the existing universities as the demand is high

v  As the technology is rapidly changing and the education is vastly dependent on the virtual technology. Thus, present investment on technology is just a mere initiative. The company has to make large investment on the use of technology such as recruitment of IT staff.

Table 1: SWOT analysis

Value and brand positioning analysis

When it comes to brand positioning, UNSW effectively understands the market. The marketing department of the brand knows Asian students are lagging behind in the global environment due to unavailability of developed education and technology. The university keeps the focus on the Asian market. To position the value of the services, University provides optimal opportunities to students such as advanced presentation and audio-visual equipments, a campus library with access to intensive array of online database. Thus, the students are able to keep the latest information in the respective field. Plasma screen is installed in the ground floor to convey latest information.

 

References

Behrendt, L. Y., Larkin, S., Griew, R., & Kelly, P. (2012). Review of higher education access and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: Final report.

Bentley, P. J., Coates, H., Dobson, I. R., Goedegebuure, L., & Meek, V. L. (2013). Factors associated with job satisfaction amongst Australian university academics and future workforce implications. In Job satisfaction around the academic world (pp. 29-53). Springer Netherlands.

Bossu, C., Bull, D., & Brown, M. (2012). Opening up Down Under: the role of open educational resources in promoting social inclusion in Australia. Distance Education, 33(2), 151-164.

Butler, J. R., Wong, G. Y., Metcalfe, D. J., Honzák, M., Pert, P. L., Rao, N., ... & Brodie, J. E. (2013). An analysis of trade-offs between multiple ecosystem services and stakeholders linked to land use and water quality management in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 180, 176-191.

Devlin, M. (2013). Bridging socio-cultural incongruity: Conceptualising the success of students from low socio-economic status backgrounds in Australian higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 38(6), 939-949.

Doherty, I., Steel, C., & Parrish, D. (2012). The challenges and opportunities for professional societies in higher education in Australasia: A PEST analysis.

Gribble, C., & Blackmore, J. (2012). Re-positioning Australia's international education in global knowledge economies: implications of shifts in skilled migration policies for universities. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 34(4), 341-354.

Harmon, G. (2015). Australia as an higher education exporter. International Higher Education, (42).

Harmon, G. (2015). Australia as an higher education exporter. International Higher Education, (42).

Research.unsw.edu.au UNSW (2017).  Research Gateway | Information about Research at UNSW.. Retrieved 13 April 2017, from https://research.unsw.edu.au

Romeo, G., Lloyd, M., & Downes, T. (2012). Teaching Teachers for the Future (TTF): Building the ICT in education capacity of the next generation of teachers in Australia. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(6).

Shah, M., & Sid Nair, C. (2013). Private for-profit higher education in Australia: widening access, participation and opportunities for public-private collaboration. Higher Education Research & Development, 32(5), 820-832.

Sharma, A., & Lambert, D. M. (2013). Segmentation of markets based on customer service. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management.

Siemens, G., Dawson, S., & Lynch, G. (2013). Improving the quality and productivity of the higher education sector. Policy and Strategy for Systems-Level Deployment of Learning Analytics. Canberra, Australia: Society for Learning Analytics Research for the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching.

Wardle, J., Steel, A., & Adams, J. (2012). A review of tensions and risks in naturopathic education and training in Australia: a need for regulation. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 18(4), 363-370.

Wheelahan, L., Arkoudis, S., Moodie, G., Fredman, N., & Bexley, E. (2012). Shaken Not Stirred? The Development of One Tertiary Education Sector in Australia. NCVER Monograph Series 08/2012. National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. PO Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.

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