Purpose – The global market for international students have become highly competitive and many institutions, particularly higher education institutions, rely heavily on fee income from overseas students. This study aims to examine the countries from which Australian education institutions draw such students and used this information to better understand such patterns. Design/methodology/approach – Data were obtained from a sample of 225 schools, colleges and universities that were actively engaged in the recruitment of international students and correspondence analysis and cluster analysis were used to examine the recruitment choices made by these institutions. Findings – It was clear there were three groups within the data that had different recruitment strategies. Group 1 (local players) institutions were primarily established to cater to the needs of international students studying in Australia and had a narrowly focussed recruitment strategy. Group 2 (global players) were institutions (mainly universities) operating both within Australia and offshore who recruited widely. Group 3 (minor players) institutions were mainly high schools that engaged in international student recruitment only on an ad hoc basis. Research limitations/implications – The study was undertaken within a single country. However, the findings, which highlighted the international student recruitment patterns of the responding education institutions, suggested they paralleled the types of activity found among other types of exporting firms. Practical implications – The paper suggests managers in educational institutions seeking to engage in overseas markets must make a strategic choice as to the level of their commitment to internationalisation and that this will impact on the choices they make about the way they recruit international students. Originality/value – There are few studies of education institutions in the international marketing area and even fewer have examined the issue of geographic recruitment choices. This study provides useful statistical evidence of the types of strategies that are likely to be found in this sector.
International Journal of Educational Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 28, 2008
Keywords: Education; Strategic marketing; Recruitment
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