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Introduction to University of Wollongong

Discuss about the SWOT Analysis of IS Academic Discipline.

The purpose of this task is to provide a brief overview about the strategic management activities of the University of Wollongong. The below-mentioned task provides a descriptive analysis of the internal and external factors of the company along with their financial analysis and process reflection. The process reflection reflects the struggle faced while working on this project. The University of Wollongong is an education institute based in New South Wales, Australia. This university has excelled in guiding the graduates to lead the path of success (Hastings, and Domegan 2013). Further, more details about the task are discussed below:

The University of Wollongong is working from past forty years in the educational field and is inspiring many young talents to work excellently in their respective fields. Vision of this university is to provide excellence and innovation in the field of education and guide people to get better education in the environment. Further, the mission of the UOW is to promote and support excellent research and scholarships in the field of education. Their main aim is to promote and inbuilt innovation in their activities so that better level of satisfaction is received to the community (University of Wollongong 2016).

The company has a research-intensive approach that outstands their reputation in the external market. Quality is the focus of the university for which they have created six goal objectives that are

  • Research and impact,
  • Learning and student experience
  • Connecting Communities
  • Staff and culture
  • Sustaining a vibrant university
  • Change and transformation

Further, the above-mentioned are the goals of the UOW. Based on these goals and objectives the university implements strategies in the external environment. The university has unfinished and vibrant objectives which helps them to maintain the international network of campuses and regional learning centers. The university with the help of their partners makes strong effect on the communities (University of Wollongong 2016).

The university has numerous strengths and weakness present in the internal environment that are discussed below:

Strengths

  • Place: The campus of the university is placed in New South Wales that is nearly 80 km far from Sydney. Therefore, this place is approachable that provides an advantage to the university to join more and more people.
  • Innovation: The goal of the university is to use innovation in every practice initiated in the university. This gives an advantage to UOW to excel in the market by gaining competitive edge. In addition, the students learn to adopt innovation in their routine activities (Dahlgaard, et. al., 2013).
  • Employees: the employees of the company are efficient enough to help UOW to grow.

Weaknesses

  • The weakness faced by the university is that innovation involved in the activities sometimes increases the time duration of initiating particular activity in the university.
  • In addition, students coming from different parts of the world face difficulty in involving themselves in the community. Speedy changes make it difficult for them to compete with other students present in the environment.
  • High degree of disciplinary standards makes it difficult for some student to survive in such strict environment. The company has 98% of strictness at the campus that sometimes threatens the students as well (Nauffal, and Nasser 2012).

The company gains the opportunity expand their scope of activities in different parts of the world. The university provides educational services in Dubai, as Dubai is not good in the field of education. This provides an opportunity to them to grow and serve education to more and more children in the community (El-Akruti, and Dwight 2013).

Further, the threat to the university is the threat is of change. Education is an aspect that changes along with the place. Therefore, prevalence on educational norms in one country does not necessarily be followed by other country as well. Thus, the university faces difficulty in diversifying the activities in different directions.

Goals and Objectives of University of Wollongong

Threat of entrants: The threat of entrants is low as there is high capital investment in this industry. Also, students prefer joining the universities that are placed in the market early. Also, advertisement costs in this industry is also high.

Bargaining power of suppliers: The bargaining power of suppliers is low in this case due to the  presence of many suppliers in this market. Suppliers in this industry would be publishers, authors; lecturer etc. presence of large number of these people gives choice to the universities in the industry (Jantti 2015).

Bargaining power of buyer: The buyers have high degree of power in this industry. The universities work according to the interest of the students present in the market. Based on their interest they provide scholarship programs and additional benefits to qualified students as well.

Threat of substitutes: Threat of substitutes is medium in this case as all the universities provide similar services but the universities that have efficient human resource gain appreciation in the market.

Industry Rivalry: High degree of rivalry is present in the educational industry. All organizations want more and more students to join their universities. Resulting to which, they provide scholarships and training programs to the students as well (Smyth, Gable, and Pervan 2016).

Political: The government of the country is stable which provides a safe and secure environment to the students for living. Also the framework initiated by the government is transparency which helps the outsider to trust on their policies.

Economic: The country has strong economic conditions and an improving GDP that helps people sustain their living in this country. It also gives rise to education sector as well. 

Social: People having different cultures living in this country, due to which the society has developed the habit of welcoming all cultures in the community (Rothaermel 2015).

Technological: Technology is majorly used in this country. Innovation and technology are two aspects that help a business to grow irrespective of the industry in which they sustain. Major investment by companies is made in the field of research and development.

Environmental: The environment of Australia is good, although some fluctuations are taken place for which the government is implementing plans. There are many places to visit in the country as well.

Legal: The rule of law of Australia makes every person share same set of responsibilities in the eye of law even if they are Non-Australian (Daniel 2013).

Strengths and Weaknesses of University of Wollongong

  • The UOW can use their employees to harass the innovative technology present in the market. It should be noted that innovation is the best aspect that attract students in the environment. So if the university will train their employees to use innovative technology in their process of teaching then the students will definitely join their university. Also this will help the university to expand their activities in different parts of the world.
  • As discussed above, the biggest weakness of the University of Wollongong is managing the students coming from different parts of the world (E. Dobbs 2014). The university should provide an aptitude and personality test to the student. This will help them to analyze the behavior students joining their university and tackle them accordingly. Also, cross culture session should be initiated classes to improve the communication among students. This can help the university in pursing activities in different parts of the world as well.
  • Further, the threat affecting the growth of the university in the international market is the change in educational process. Different places have their differential educational systems. Like, the process and type of education given to students is different from the education given to students in Australia (Aithal, Shailashree, and Kumar 2016). Thus, the company can mitigate this threat by working on their research and development department, this department should ensure the upcoming changes occurring in the industry and the places that are suitable for the university to expand.
  • Use of flexible activities will help the university to mitigate the threats and reduce the weakness as well. As discussed above that there is high degree of strictness in the university and change is not initiated properly. Therefore, adoption of flexibility strategy will automatically help the university remove the problems from the environment as well (Galliers, and Leidner 2014).

Focused business level strategy is used by University of Wollongong. Mitchel E. Porter introduced this strategy. This strategy talks about the marketing strategy of an organization that concentrates on its resources and capabilities for entering or expanding their business in a market segment. A focused strategy is usually used an organization when they already knows about their segment and products goods and services that adequately satisfies the needs of the consumers. Focused differentiation strategy helps an organization provide products and services in the market according to the interest of customers present in the market. The University of Wollongong should use this type of strategy to so as to adequately target the international students and provide them services according to their interest in the educational industry. This will help the university to gain differentiation from the market as well (Schargel, and Smink 2014).

Further, it should be noted that the focus in the business level strategy represent the activity of focusing the target market present in the industry. Moreover, differentiation refers to the strategy of providing differentiating goods and services in the market. Differentiation in the university should be initiated by using innovation in the university. This will develop the skills of students as well. So, with the use of this business strategy the University should focus on their target students that means the students that actually want to apply for the courses offered by the university and the students who are eligible for scholarship as well. And they should provide their differentiated services to them. Differentiation will help the university to gain competitive edge in the target market. Now days many universities are competing in the educational sector so differentiation is this case will help the university to gain reputation in domestic as well as international market. Use of innovative technology in the teaching will help the students to enhance their skills and lead in the target market as well. Lastly, it should be noted that focused differentiation would help the University of Wollongong to harass the opportunities and implement their goals and objective present in the target market as well (Foss, and Knudsen 2013).

The company needs to use adequate corporate strategy that helps them in successfully implementing the objective of the university. Thus, the University of Wollongong should apply the diversification corporate strategy to initiate their objective in the industry. The university does not only focus on the sales and promotion of their business in the educational industry, but they aim to address many countries and diversify their business in the external market. Resulting to which, this strategy would support the activities of the universities in the market. UOW has already placed them at an adequate position in the market, so diversification activity will support them in the market. Further, it should be noted that corporate level strategy refers to the strategy that helps an organization to position them for success in the external market (Rutherford, Parks, Cavazos, and White 2012). This strategy defines a plan to hit specific targets that the business needs to achieve. These strategies hold long term effect for the company in the market so they focus on all the available dimensions present in the market and then initiate decision making for the company.

Analysis of External Factors

Relating it to the strategy opted by the university it should be noted that the diversification strategy develops successful marketing plan that invests in the activities operated by the university and properly helps the students to address them in the market as well. This strategy will help the management of the university to identify their opportunities present in different places worldwide and capture those opportunities as well. It will help the management to implement the plan of diversification under which they will promote the operation of the university in external markets that will attract more and more students from worldwide to encourage them to join the university. Also, it will give arms to the university to open their branches at different places as well. Thus, the diversification corporate strategy would work best for the university; as it will allow the students to recognize the services provided by the university, and it will help the management to focus on their service provided to attain competitiveness in different market (Bowen, and Bok 2016).

As discussed above that the mission of the university is to diversify the activities and use of innovation in day to day activities of their operations. So, the three functional level strategies with response to the operations of university are discussed below:

  • The teaching system should be upgraded, the time schedule should be implemented in an innovative way. Boring and theory lecturers should be scheduled first in morning and the interesting subjects should be scheduled later. This will keep the students interested till the end of the period (Cheng 2013).
  • Less of theoretical work and more field projects should be given to the student so that they can diversify the knowledge by interacting with people. Further, weekly performance review through mock tests will help the students to identify the capabilities to excel in the exams. These tests should be made compulsory for the students to attend.
  • Lastly, the lecturers should also be trained with the upcoming and latest technology announced in the environment. The professors should use innovative ways to teach the students. After from that, the classrooms should be sound proof and the infrastructure should efficient for the handicapped students as well. This, will enroll more qualified minds in the university (Wilson, et. al., 2012).

The above mentioned is the organizational structure of the University of Wollongong that is formed in a simplified way so as to subtract the complexities in the internal working of the system. The interim president (Ms Jillian Broadbent) is the head of the university, under their surveillance all the activities are initiated by the management. Further, the council members who are a team of chancellors and deputy chancellors collectively control the university. Next are the senior executive team and then the pro vice- chancellors who organize all the events and control the activities in the university. Further, different department have their departmental head that control and monitor the disciplinary and non-disciplinary actions in the campus. Due to strict surveillance of the department head, the activities of students are controlled in the university and no nuisance is initiated in the university (Meltzer 2018).

Further, it should be noted that all these activities are implemented in the university so as to align the mission, goal and vision of the university within them. The students will get attracted towards the university on when they fulfill their objectives and prove themselves in the educational industry. Thus, the organizational structure is implement with a purpose of fulfill the objectives only. Presence of department head for every department will reduce the obligations to their superior to focus on various activities. With this effect, they can emphasize on other major objectives associated with the activities of the university. The department head will monitor all the activities initiated in the campus and report it to their superior departments. Thus, it should be noted that one of the reason of success of the university is its alignment of the business goals with functions of the organization.

  • Current Ratio = Current Asset/ Current Liability

Analysis of Internal Factors

= 220,719/ 151,453

= 1.457

  • Return on Asset= (Net Income/ Total Assets)*100

=( 840,114 / 1,383,571)*100

=60.72

  • Return on Invested Capital= Net Income – Dividend/ Total Capital

= 840,114/ 849,923

=0.988 (University of Wollongong 2016)

Deakin and University of Melbourne are the two major competitors of UOW present in the educational industry of Australia. As discussed in the external analysis that there is high degree of industry rivalry present in the environment which somehow affects the growth of UOW in the international market as well. The competitive market of the organization is highly innovative as well, because innovation is the only way with which organization implement their successfully growth (North 2016).

The market is majorly influenced by technology; also, the University of Wollongong has developed an Innovation campus in their campus for the better of innovative technology by the students. This campus is was created through seed funding by the New South Wales government and the university constantly received support from the federal and state governments as well as the Wollongong City Council. This campus was established to motivate partnerships and collaboration between the research and business communities by co-locating commercial and research organizations as well. Further the diversification strategy of the organization is directly related to the core business activity of the university. The organization organized their branch in Dubai as well, that branch also involves similar functions as the UOW do. So, it should be noted that the university aims to diversify their activities by initiating acions that reflect the goals of UOW and past activities as well (De Silva Lokuwaduge, and Armstrong 2015).

Further, it can be said that the organization deals in product bundling activity as the university offers various programs to the students coming from different streams. Arts, commerce, science etc. are some of the streams whose courses are offered by the university.

Concluding to the above statements, it should be noted that at many areas I found difficulty in researching the useful information about the university. Even I got stuck at many place where I was unable to understand that the information is resourceful for the project or not. Like, in the case of external analysis, the is a initiated in general terms but it is important that the information used should be relevant to the educational industry. So, I found it difficulty in evaluation this information as relevancy. Further, I overcome this by studying more about the external environment of the university and the factors affecting the activities of the university, with the help of this I finally recognized the factors present in the external environment that affects the activities of UOW. Then I segregated them into PESTEL and Porter Analysis.

Business level strategy for University of Wollongong

Further, the strategic activity that helped me successfully complete this report was RREW approach. I defined this approach while working on this project, RREW stands for Research, Relate, Evaluate and then Write. This approach helped me to successfully complete this report properly. Lastly, after having a detailed analysis of the University of Wollongong, I came to a decision that this university is a great organization that helps students to proceed their career brightly. Yes, I strong recommend it to people that they should join this organization for their better future.

Conclusion

Thus in the limelight of above mentioned events, it should be noted that the University of Wollongong is a well-known organization placed in the field of educational industry. The university aims to diversify their business and use innovations as well. For the purpose of this, the management initiates various activities. The external analysis explains the ways in which the university can use their internal resources to increase their capabilities and reduce risks as well. The above-mentioned report satisfies the requirements of the task.

References

Aithal, P.S., Shailashree, V.T. and Kumar, P.M., 2016. ABCD analysis of Stage Model in Higher Education.

Bowen, W.G. and Bok, D., 2016. The shape of the river: Long-term consequences of considering race in college and university admissions. Princeton University Press.

Cheng, Y.C., 2013. School effectiveness and school-based management: A mechanism for development. Routledge.

Dahlgaard, J.J., Chen, C.K., Jang, J.Y., Banegas, L.A. and Dahlgaard-Park, S.M., 2013. Business excellence models: Limitations, reflections and further development. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 24(5-6), pp.519-538.

Daniel, J., 2013. Mega-universities and knowledge media. Routledge.

De Silva Lokuwaduge, C. and Armstrong, A., 2015. The impact of governance on the performance of the higher education sector in Australia. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 43(5), pp.811-827.

  1. Dobbs, M., 2014. Guidelines for applying Porter's five forces framework: a set of industry analysis templates. Competitiveness Review, 24(1), pp.32-45.

El-Akruti, K. and Dwight, R., 2013. A framework for the engineering asset management system. Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, 19(4), pp.398-412.

Foss, N.J. and Knudsen, C. eds., 2013. Towards a competence theory of the firm (Vol. 2). Routledge.

Galliers, R.D. and Leidner, D.E. eds., 2014. Strategic information management: challenges and strategies in managing information systems. Routledge.

Hastings, G. and Domegan, C., 2013. Social marketing: From tunes to symphonies. Routledge.

Jantti, M., 2015. One score on–the past, present and future of measurement at UOW Library. Library Management, 36(3), pp.201-207.

Meltzer, L. ed., 2018. Executive function in education: From theory to practice. Guilford Publications.

Nauffal, D.I. and Nasser, R.N., 2012. Strategic planning at two levels. Planning for Higher Education, 40(4), p.32.

North, S., 2016. Privileged knowledge, privileged access: early universities in Australia. History of Education Review, 45(1), pp.88-102.

Rothaermel, F.T., 2015. Strategic management. McGraw-Hill Education.

Rutherford, M.A., Parks, L., Cavazos, D.E. and White, C.D., 2012. Business ethics as a required course: Investigating the factors impacting the decision to require ethics in the undergraduate business core curriculum. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(2), pp.174-186.

Schargel, F. and Smink, J., 2014. Strategies to help solve our school dropout problem. Routledge.

Smyth, R., Gable, G. and Pervan, G., 2016. A SWOT analysis of the IS academic discipline in Australia.

University of Wollongong., 2016. 2016 Annual Report [online]. Available at https://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@pmcd/@smc/documents/doc/uow233147.pdf Accessed on 11 April 2018.

University of Wollongong., 2016. Our Purpose [online]. Available at < https://www.uow.edu.au/about/index.html> Accessed on 11 April 2018.

University of Wollongong., 2016. Research Strength and Director [online]. Available at < https://www.uow.edu.au/research/priorities/UOW188930.html> Accessed on 11 April 2018.

University of Wollongong., 2016. UOW at a glance [online]. Available at < https://www.uow.edu.au/about/statistics/index.html> Accessed on 11 April 2018.

Wilson, Z.S., Holmes, L., Sylvain, M.R., Batiste, L., Johnson, M., McGuire, S.Y., Pang, S.S. and Warner, I.M., 2012. Hierarchical mentoring: A transformative strategy for improving diversity and retention in undergraduate STEM disciplines. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 21(1), pp.148-156.

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