Strategies For The Marketing Of Higher Education With Comparative Contextual References Between Australia And Turkey


Education is now a global product with institutions worldwide competing for students and finding ever more creative ways to satisfy student needs and preferences. With the continuing rise in the preference for flexible distance learning, educational institutions are finding that when students and faculty have significantly different cultural backgrounds and learning styles that the expectations of the learning experience can be unfulfilled. In Australia, international students have made education Australia’s third largest service export, earning $5.8 billion. This means that student populations have moved from being homogenous and captive to domestic constraints and expectations, to being multi-cultural, dispersed and subject to a plethora of constraints and expectations. Today in Turkey, education is the responsibility of government however, in recent years, the private sector has entered the market providing educational services at all levels. In particular, after the 1990s, private higher education institutions (HEIs) with a commercial focus have mushroomed. In 2007, there are 25 private universities in Turkey with more than 2.000.000 students enrolled in these universities. Of these students, more than 1.000.000 are registered in distance education faculties. With such large student numbers competition between private universities for students has intensified particularly over the last 15 years. As a consequence the need to develop strategies for attracting students has become more important. Marketing strategies in Turkey have tended to concentrate on three distinct categories: strategies between governmental HEIs, private HEIs and distance education HEIs. The contribution of technologies to education processes has been immense with students and faculty each learning to adapt to an environment of continuous change and opportunities. This paper seeks to explore the notion that a competitive advantage in marketing of higher education can be attained by customizing learning experiences for particular student cohorts in a pro-active and constructive way.

KEYWORDS: Education; Higher Education; Marketing; Distance Education; Marketing Strategies, Turkey; Australia