Higher education provision in a crowded marketplace

Schofield, Cathy; Cotton, Debby; Gresty, Karen; Kneale, Pauline and Winter, Jennie (2013). Higher education provision in a crowded marketplace. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 35(2) pp. 193–205.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2013.775928


Current changes to policy around higher education in the United Kingdom are leading to an increasingly marketised system. As funding is transferred from the United Kingdom government to the individual student, universities will be required to pay more attention to marketing. This paper draws on the literature relating to marketing of services to assess the extent to which higher education marketing addresses issues of covenant, quiddity and representation. Using a mixed sample of universities and associated further education colleges who provide higher education opportunities, this research investigates the marketing strategies of different types of higher education institution. Differences identified include the extent to which reputation, educational experience, research and student life are used in marketing. We conclude that newer universities and further education colleges appear to be more greatly influenced by contemporary government policy agenda than are the older more traditional institutions, which continue to trade largely on their established strong reputations./.

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