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Recruiting international postgraduate researchers: Challenges and strategic alternatives

Jennifer Scott (Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 31 July 2019

Issue publication date: 6 January 2020



The purpose of this paper is to examine the efficacy of the strategies that new, regional universities use for recruiting international postgraduate research students (IPRSs).


An exploratory, qualitative cross-case study analysis was used to address a problem and associated gap in the literature, identified from a review of academic literature and government statistics. Case studies comprised multiple data sources, including interviews and questionnaires with 66 employee and student respondents and document reviews.


A disparity between the views of students and employees regarding effective recruitment strategies was apparent. This led to divergence between the needs of prospective students and institutional strategies used during recruitment. Findings include suggestions to improve such strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The study provides a basis for future research on higher education recruitment for new and regional universities and for IPRSs. As the research focused on two Australian universities, knowledge obtained should be explored further.

Practical implications

Results suggest students considering overseas postgraduate research study prioritize information, readily available online, about the university’s research focus and capacity, the features of surrounding communities and the regional impact of the research. Results also suggest that focusing on developing institution-to-institution and researcher-to-researcher relationships provides a mechanism by which the institution can enhance its international reputation to attract more students.


Limited research focuses specifically on recruitment of IPRSs. The results can support new, regional universities to review and modify their strategies for benefit to students and universities.



Scott, J. (2020), "Recruiting international postgraduate researchers: Challenges and strategic alternatives", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 281-298.



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