Interrogating the crisis in higher education marketing: the CORD model

Felix Maringe (School of Education, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Publication date: 1 December 2005



Higher education (HE) marketing the world over is in a state of crisis that manifests itself on three fronts. First, there continues to be sizeable resistance towards the marketing idea in the academy of many universities across the world. Second, HE itself has failed to identify its core business without which the sector can not have a firm marketing foundation. Third, HE marketing has not adequately domesticated itself and continues to rely on imported wisdom from the business sector. The purpose of this paper is to explore these problems using evidence from international research and propose a curriculum focused marketing model which should help refocus HE marketing, domesticate it appropriately and reduce the internal resistance with which it is frequently associated.


The paper begins by examining the imperatives for marketisation in HE. It then reviews the extent of the three obstacles using evidence from research in different parts of the world. It concludes by offering a curriculum focused marketing model (CORD) which could serve the basis for future HE marketisation.


Based on wide ranging data from the developed and less developed countries, obtained through national and regional surveys and a review of secondary findings, the paper suggests that a way out of this crisis is for universities to identify their core business as the development of their curricula and to base their marketing on a proposed curriculum centred marketing model.


The CORD model represents an attempt at addressing the crisis that HE marketing faces today.



Maringe, F. (2005), "Interrogating the crisis in higher education marketing: the CORD model", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 19 No. 7, pp. 564-578.

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