Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of demographic, social, economic and international aspects on the market of university services in Russia. It also reminds readers briefly of the evolution of the Russian higher education system during the last 20 years and considers some consequences of the current public policy and reforms in this sector. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a qualitative analysis of the marketing environment of Russian universities. Findings – The results show that it is urgent for Russian universities to think and innovate about their marketing strategies to better position themselves in the educational market that has greatly changed throughout the transition period. International competition, demographic decrease, change in age structure and consumer behavior and preferences are those trends that create new challenges. Research limitations/implications – Public policy in higher education needs to be improved also to enable better equity across territory and different universities. Practical implications – After a drastic drop in the public funding during the 1990s (from 9.6 percent of GDP in 1986 to 3.5 percent in 1990), the higher education sector in Russia is still “struggling for survival.” In spite of the increase in funding in the year 2000, public support is distributed unequally across universities, 40 universities being distinguished among more than 1,100 other existing institutions. For those institutions that are not supported by the State, an efficient marketing strategy helps to keep the pace and continue to exist and offer educational programs. In order to ensure a wide access to higher education throughout the whole territory and to let some institutions to continue to work, it is urgent to rethink and reinforce marketing research in education. Originality/value – The paper is an original study of the market for higher education services in Russia.
International Journal of Educational Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 11, 2015
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