The international marketing of educational services : implications for long-term policy planning
The dissertation attempts to apply the marketing concept to the provision of educational services. A comprehensive literature review is conducted in the area of services marketing. A strategic marketing model is proposed for the international marketing of educational services. A comparative analysis of overseas student policy in a number of host countries is presented. A number of policy developments and regulatory mechanisms are critically evaluated. It was not possible to conduct a rigorous cost-benefit analysis of overseas students in Ireland*. However, a UK study conducted in 1980 is examined in detail. The problems of measurement, etc. which were encountered are discussed. This will serve as a model for a similar study in Ireland. Various overseas markets are identified as having significant market potential for Ireland. An hypothesised strategic marketing model for educational institutions is developed. This is later revised following its application to the Malaysian market which is held to be generalisable. A research survey is conducted among overseas students and selected third level educational institutions. It is composed of six parts: 1. Postal questionnaire sent to third level institutions in Ireland selected on the basis of the number of overseas (non-EC) students enrolled. 2. Interviews held with key-figures in major third level institutions in Ireland selected on the basis of the number of overseas (non-EC) students enrolled. *Ireland throughout this thesis does not include the six counties of Northern Ireland governed by the United Kingdom. 3. Self-completion questionnaire distributed to a random sample of 5% of overseas students in Ireland weighted by overseas student enrolment in the various institutions. 4. A series of focus interviews with overseas students held at: a) University College Dublin b) University of Dublin, Trinity College c) The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. 5. Jury panel of expert opinion - interviews with key figures in the area of education and overseas student policy. 6. A self-completion questionnaire distributed to a random sample of overseas students at the University of Strathclyde. The dissertation makes a number of recommendations for future overseas student policy and finds that lack of a coherent national policy is the major impediment to the development of a considerable overseas student presence in Ireland. Recommendations are proposed regarding; marketing strategy, fee policy, regulatory mechanisms, targeted support schemes, concessionary fee status, the composition and distribution of the overseas student body, orientation programmes, immigration, accommodation, cultural issues, English language provision and student welfare.