This report will compare the performance and quality standard of a chosen university in Australia and compare it with another university in that same country. This report will evaluate the strategies adopted by a specific University to attract more students for their curriculum in the year 2018. In this assignment, the higher education sector in Australia is also going to be evaluated in order to find out the future opportunities and threats which could be encountered in the higher education sector. This would help in the proper understanding and evaluation of the diverse aspects of the higher education market in Australia. The educational institute considered in this evaluation process is Queensland University of Technology and they have been compared with the University of Sydney.
Background History of both the Universities
The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) was established in the year 1989 after Queensland Institute of Technology was granted University status through the passing of the Queensland University of Technology Act in the year 1988. The QUT is located in Brisbane and it has three campuses which are situated at Gardens Point, Caboolture and Kelvin Grove. According to official figures released by QUT in 2015, the University has a total of 48,580 students who are enrolled in the various academic courses offered by the organisation. Out of the total students, there are 34,123 undergraduate students and 10,631 post-grad students who are presently enrolled with the University. The QUT offers diverse courses in engineering, science, law, business, healthcare, building and planning to the students. The University offers a good learning infrastructure to their students which help in their future career growth and development (Australianuniversities, 2017). QUT provides a high amount of emphasis on research and it offers their students with financial grants for carrying out cutting edge research in different academic fields. QUT offers them with a The subjects offered by the University Apart from this, there are also 1,164 non-award students who are enrolled with the University. The number of full-time equivalent staff members and academicians at QUT is 4872. The University received an annual endowment of 956 million AUD in the year 2015.
In contrast, the University of Sydney was one of the first public universities to be established in Australia. This University was established in the year 1850 and is considered to be one of the best Universities in Australia. The University occupies the 26th position in the global list of universities in 2017. The University had a total of 54,306 students in the year 2017 which includes 33,077 undergraduate students and 20,268 post graduate students. The University offers diverse academic courses and curricula to their students which are highly sought after by the students in Australia. The faculty members of the University include five Nobel laureates and two Crafoord laureates. The University has a very esteemed and dignified reputation in Australia and this is mainly due to the fact that six Australian Prime Ministers and four Chief Justices have been alumni of this University (Australianuniversities, 2017). The total number of full time equivalent staff members and academicians at University of Sydney was 5350 in 2015. The University is affiliated with APRU (Association of Pacific Rim Universities), Group of Eight, AAUN (Australia-Africa Universities Network) and Association of the Commonwealth Universities. The University of Sydney had a budget endowment of $1358 million in the year 2014.
The Australian Higher education market is a very lucrative industry which is expected to generate total revenues to the tune of $31bn in the year 2016. The higher education market in Australia has been witnessing steady growth during the last few years and the average growth rate during the period between 2012 and 2017 has been 4.5%. The Australian higher education sector presently comprises of 43 accredited universities and these include 40 Australian Universities which are publicly owned, a small private speciality University along with two international Universities. The higher education sector in Australia also comprises of many non-university which are providing higher education courses and qualifications to the Australian students (Altbach & Knight, 2007). There are a total number of 127,638 people who are directly and indirectly involved with the higher education sector in Australia. The higher education industry in Australia has undergone significant changes over the years and this is mainly attributed to the overall reforms and reviews which has taken place in this sector during the last five years. In the year 2012, the Federal Government of Australia has been instrumental in bringing forth the necessary changes which has enabled in improving the quality of higher education which is being imparted to the students. The Federal Government has introduced a demand driven funding model for all the public Universities and this has created a surge in the number of domestic student enrolments in Australia (Kift, 2009). The public expenditures on Universities have increased significantly during the last five years and this is mainly due to the scrapping of the Commonwealth supported places. This increasing public expenditure has put additional financial pressures on the Federal Government in Australia thereby forcing the Australian government to ease out the visa requirements for international students. This has played a very important role in helping the Australian Government to attract more foreign students from around the globe and generate the necessary foreign exchange which has helped to reduce the pressure on the public coffers (Guthrie & Neumann, 2007).
The Australian higher education segment is expected to witness increased footfalls from both domestic as well as foreign students and this will invariably make this sector function as a consumer driven market. Both QUT and the University of Sydney are focusing on the foreign student category as this creates more revenues for the Australian Government. There are presently 7,157 international students coming from more than 100 different nations who are presently studying at QUT. Compared to this the University of Sydney has a total of 12,278 international students enrolled in their curricula. The percentage of foreign students in QUT and University of Sydney are 15.7% and 22.6% respectively. The fee structure of QUT is significantly lower than that of University of Sydney and this is mainly due to the higher ranking and quality of education offered by the latter.
QUT is comparatively a new university which do not have the same legacy and history that is enjoyed by the University of Sydney. Thus, the QUT is mainly trying to cater to the students belonging to the middle class population who desire to get quality education at an affordable price which would not burn a hole in their pockets. QUT is offering their courses at lower prices so as to attract more students from economically weaker sections of the society and provide them an opportunity to realise their future career goals and ambitions (Altbach & Knight, 2007). This low pricing strategy has played a very important role in helping QUT to attract more students from the market for their academic curricula.
Marketing Mix Analysis for QUT
The Marketing Mix plays a very important role in helping to determine the future growth and success of an organisation. It is effective business which could be utilised to distinguish the products and services offered by an organisation from those that are being offered by their business competitors in the market. By incorporating and utilising an effective marketing mix and organisation can ensure its competitive edge in the industry sector (Constantinides, 2006). The marketing mix for QUT has been discussed below:
Product: QUT is offering a wide variety of academic courses to their students from arts, science, engineering, business, education and law. The wide variety of courses is effectively satisfying the educational needs and preferences of both the domestic and the international students in Australia. This enables QUT to tackle the market competition with their market competitors in an effective manner (Cravens & Piercy, 2006).
Place: QUT is situated in Brisbane which is the capital city of Queensland and this makes the University widely accessible for all by local transport for the local population. There are three campuses of QUT which are all situated in Brisbane and this strategic location of the University campuses enables QUT to attract more students from the market.
Price: Pricing is an important aspect of marketing mix which helps an organisation to draw more customers for their products and service offerings. The courses at QUT are quite affordable for the students and this plays a very important role in helping the University to attract more students for their courses. This has played a very important factor in enabling QUT to increase the market demand for their academic courses and thus QUT has been able to generate more revenues from their operations (Goi, 2009).
Promotions: Promotions are another very important aspect of marketing mix which helps an organisation to spread customer awareness among their target customers. QUT is utilising the digital media platforms in order to popularise and promote the educational standards which are being followed by them and the wide variety of courses which they are offering to the students. The organisation has utilised social media marketing in order to spread more awareness among the student community in Australia for their different academic courses. This has enabled them to expand their presence and reach in the Australian higher education sector thereby enabling them to attract more students for their different courses.
Physical Evidence: Thy physical evidence is the quality of education imparted by QUT. This is evident from the overall quality of infrastructure and educational qualification of the teachers and lecturers who are imparting education to the students. QUT has a world class educational infrastructure and they have highly qualified and experienced academicians at their disposal and this enables QUT to deliver a high quality of education to their students (Peter & Donnelly, 2011).
People: The people are the individuals who are responsible for delivering the products and services offered by an organisation. In case of QUT, the product is education and the people are the academicians and teachers who are in charge of delivering quality education to the students. The teaching and administrative staffs at QUT are continuously striving to focus on the individual learning needs of the students and this enables them to provide a holistic education to their students. This enables the students to enhance their knowledge and understanding regarding their chosen academic filed which helps them to succeed in their future careers (Constantinides, 2006).
Process: The process signifies the manner in which education is being delivered to the students at QUT. The lecturers and teachers at QUT are utilising state of the art educational technologies like digital simulation and video conferencing which helps them in delivering the best possible quality of education to their students. The University spends a lot of their resources on maintaining the quality and standard of education which are delivered to their students and this enables them to equip their classrooms with all the latest educational tools and technologies which will help to provide individual care and attention to all the educational needs of their students (Cravens & Piercy, 2006).
The PEST analysis plays a very important role in helping an organisation to evaluate the external market factors which are having a significant impact on their business. PEST is an acronym which stands for the Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors which are having an influence over the business operations of an organisation. The PEST analysis of QUT has been discussed below.
Political Factors – The political factors are playing very important role in influencing the business operations of different universities in Australia. The political factors will invariably influence the educational reforms and guidelines which are passed in Australia. It will directly determine the amount of financial funding and endowment received by the University from the government. This will play a major role in influencing the quality of education which are being provided by the different universities in Australia. The present government has stressed on the need for better research opportunities for students at the universities and as a result they have increased the financial grants to the different universities which are providing better research opportunities to the students (Gupta, 2013). This has played a vital role in helping QUT to provide better quality of education to their students.
Economic Factors – The economic factors play a very important role in determining the demand for higher education among the Australian population. The fact that Australia is a developed nation and their economic condition is presently stable, there is an increasing demand for higher education among the Australian population. Higher education in Australia is extremely costly and better economic factors helps in ensuring that more and more people will be able to afford the quality education which are being provided by the different universities in Australia. This would enable QUT to attract more students for their academic courses and thus they will be able to generate more revenues from their business (Doherty et al., 2012).
Social Factors – The social factors will play a very important role in helping the Australian universities to attract more foreign students for their courses. They are able to understand the cultural aspects of the foreign students and this helps them in designing their courses in such a manner so that it would attract the attention of the international students. The social factors play a vital role in helping the Australian Universities to exactly determine what the foreign students are looking forward to in an University and this enables them to develop an attractive marketing strategy which enables them to increase the demand for their courses among the international students (Littledyke et al., 2013).
Technological factors – The technological factors are playing a very important role in helping the Australian universities to improve the quality of education which are being imparted to their students. By incorporating all the latest technologies within their business, the universities will be able to maintain their standard of education in comparison with the global standard and this would enable them to enhance their brand reputation in the market. This would enable them to enhance the demand for the academic courses which are presently being offered by the Australian Universities (Brown & Mazzarol, 2009).
There are a lot of quality universities in Australia which are providing a high quality of education to their students. Australia has become a popular destination for higher education among the international students. This has invariably created a lot of competition among the different Australian universities who are constantly striving to attract more foreign students for their academic courses (Stella & Woodhouse, 2007). The Australian higher education sector is a very lucrative market and all the universities are leaving no stones unturned in order to grab a significant chunk of the lucrative higher education market in Australia. Despite being relatively new in the education sector, QUT has been able to make their presence felt in the Australian higher education sector. The main business competition which is faced by QUT is coming from the Monash University, University of Sydney and University of New Castle. QUT needs to incorporate an effective marketing and business strategy which would enable it to tackle the increasing market competition with other Universities in an effective manner. This is the only way in which QUT will be able to attract more students for their courses and this enable them sustain their business operations for the long haul (Brown & Mazzarol, 2009).
The SWOT analysis plays a very important role in helping to determine the present condition of an organisation in the market. By utilising the SWOT analysis, QUT will be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses and this would make them better equipped to tackle the business opportunities and threats which could be encountered by them in their future course of their business operations.
1) High quality of education.
2) Affordable courses which are mainly targeted at the middle class population in Australia.
3) Highly experienced teachers who provide individualised care and attention to the needs and requirements of every student (Helms & Nixon, 2010).
1) Lower ranking in the list of prominent Australian Universities.
2) Increased business expenses taking a toll on their business revenues and profits.
3) Lack of proper marketing strategies are preventing the organisation from attracting more students for their courses.
1) Increasing demand and popularity of Australia as a quality educational destination.
2) Increased emphasis on research by the Australian government would play a vital role in helping QUT to get access to more funding which would play a very important role in enabling them to improve their educational infrastructure.
1) Increased competition from the larger and more reputed Universities in Australia.
2) The organisation needs to increase the cost of their courses in order to sustain their business operations and this would invariably have a negative impact on the demand for the courses among the students (Corrall, 2008).
Value Brand Proposition
QUT is an internationally reputed university which has been successful in creating their mark in the higher education sector in Australia. The organisation provides excellent learning infrastructure and facilities to their students and this has enabled the students to create their mark both nationally and globally. The University is constantly striving to provide an excellent quality of education to their students and they have been able to encourage many of their students to advance their academic careers by providing them with excellent opportunities for research (Frow & Payne, 2011). The university is providing a wide variety of courses to their students and this has enabled them to enhance the market demand for their courses. Inspite of the quality education and wide variety of courses which are offered by QUT, the organisation is increasingly facing a lot of competition in the market and this could be better tackled by incorporating effective marketing and business strategies. The organisation needs to provide vocational courses and distance learning facilities for their students and this go a long way in helping them to attract more students for their courses (Trapnell, 2007). This will play a very important role in enabling QUT to tackle the market competition with their business rivals in an effective manner and thus QUT will be able to ensure their growth and success in the market.
Conclusion and Recommendation
QUT has been able to create their presence felt in the Australian education market and this is mainly due to the emphasis provided by the organisation on quality education and research. The organisation has always tried to understand the socio-cultural aspects of the students belonging to different nationalities and this has enabled them to provide their students with a good quality of education. This has played a vital role in helping QUT to effectively satisfy the educational needs and preferences of individual students and thus QUT has been able to create positive reputation in the market. However, there is no room for QUT to become complacent after their success as it is increasingly facing a lot of competition in the market. It is recommended that QUT needs to expand their courses and review them from time to time in order to find their real life application in the industry context. Furthermore, QUT also needs to recruit more academicians and collaborate with foreign universities in order to improve the quality of research work which are presently undertaken in the university (Osterwalder et al., 2014). Lastly, marketing and planning should be carried out with their help of professional marketing and advertising agencies and this will go a long way in helping QUT to attract more potential students for their courses.
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