Guest editorial

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 16 May 2008


Gibbs, P. (2008), "Guest editorial", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 22 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Guest editorial

Article Type: Guest editorial From: International Journal of Educational Management, Volume 22, Issue 4.

The papers which form this special issue of the International Journal of Educational Management were originally presented at the second Symposium of the SIG for Marketing of Higher Education, a successful meeting held from 4-6 April 2007 in Budapest. The symposium was hosted by Eötvös Loránd University, The aim of the event was to provide a forum for the practitioners and academics to exchange ideas on issues of current concern on higher education marketing, and in particular its implications for the nature of higher education. Twelve nations took part and the papers presented here are representative of the approaches and nationalities involved. Each of the papers offers a geographical as well as positional perspective on marketing higher education.

Space does not allow detailed discussion but noteworthy amongst the more than 50 papers presented were the two keynote speakers, Professor Nicholas Barr (LSE) on university fees and pricing and Professor Pat Murphy (University of Notre Dame) on the ethics of marketing higher education, which provided the trajectory for stimulating papers on the practice of higher education marketing. The guest editors would like to thank all those who submitted papers and especially the editor of the Journal for “lending” us this place to record some of the papers we think most of interest to the Journal’s readership.

The papers that open this collection are empirically-based and deal with various issues of marketing and the subject of that marketing. The first is by Jonathan Ivy and discusses a new higher education marketing mix specifically relating to MBA marketing. As Jonathan explains, the MBA market is very competitive and increasingly business schools are becoming more aggressive in their efforts to attract students to their flagship degree, the MBA. The traditional marketing tools historically grouped into 4Ps (product, price, place and promotion), 5Ps (adding people) and 7Ps (adding physical facilities and processes) may be wanting in this market. His paper proposes seven quite distinct underlying factors in the marketing activities of these business schools, some covering the same elements as the traditional marketing mix.

The second paper by Irini Rigopoulou, and John Kehagias concerns the importance of self-marketing in the form of Personal Development Planning. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the empirical body of knowledge regarding the role of Universities today in providing students with tools to direct their trajectory into their working lives. They do this by using, a “Self-Brand Orientation” marketing approach.

Jeanne Bonnema and Del la Rey Van der Waldt consider information and source preferences of a student market in higher education. They claim that marketing communication practitioners in this industry have not yet identified specific subgroups with similar characteristics within the prospective student (target) market, and do not always know which preferred sources learners consult when deciding on a tertiary institution for further or higher education. As a result, many tertiary institutions still use one message in one medium for all target markets.

Finally in this section, Hsuan-Fu Ho and Chia-Chi Hung’s paper concerns itself with the rapid expansion of higher education in Taiwan from 22 institutions in 1984 to 163 in 2006 and the fierce competition this has created. While many institutions have adopted more aggressive marketing practices incorporating advertising and promotion in the last decades, overall progress has been fragmentary, and there is a paucity of comprehensive research on marketing in higher education in Taiwan. The objective of this research is to examine how a graduate institute at National Chiayi University (NCYU) can develop effective marketing strategies through the use of an integrated analysis employing analytic hierarchy processes together with cluster and correspondence analysis.

The final two papers deal with descriptive analysis of how to facilitate innovations in higher education in transition economies and is written by Olga Saginova and Vladimir Belyansky. The authors point out that emerging market economies face a number of problems, many of which are closely linked to and dependent upon the effectiveness of higher professional education. The changes in the market environment of higher education, such as the formation of a knowledge economy, globalisation and changes in the educational needs of consumers as well as new technological advances and growing competition, require a different scale of innovation in higher education. The paper analyses innovations in education from the point of view of product content and markets selected. The paper is based on a series of research projects undertaken in 2001-2006 at the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics to study the challenges higher education systems face in emerging markets and develop strategies to meet these challenges using a marketing approach.

The closing paper is by Anthony Lowrie and deals with the rise of the accreditation marketing machine. The paper explores the function of Business School accreditation as a marketing practice, how language functions to create relevance through language exchanges at moments of articulation and how this construction is connected with agressivity. The case of AACSB is used to make the argument of the impossibility of particular institutions of accreditation dealing with the complexity of higher education as a global and scarce resource which makes for political antagonism both within and across national boundaries.

We recommend these papers to you as an eclectic collection of the debates surrounding the marketing of higher education and the different approaches scholars are taking to investigating and advocating change in practice and policy.

Paul Gibbs, Petros PashiardisGuest Editoris