Article: Australianhe 'How to Effectively Market

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[. . .] VRQA has developed a 4-tier risk-based approach:

1 Low Risk public universities, registered schools, TAFE, HE

2 Med Risk self-assessment process

3 High Risk potential audit/review to re-register

4 High Risk new applicants - initial audit against new criteria

Amendments to the ESOS Act 2010 required all providers to be re-registered from 1/1/2011 using three additional criteria: 1) the provider's principle purpose is to provide education, 2) the provider must have a clearly demonstrated capacity to deliver education to a satisfactory standard, and 3) the provider must publicly list all of its accredited Education Agents.

Recent changes to skill migration pathways have a big impact on enrolments within the vocational education sector and to a certain degree with some university sectors. DIAC rule changes in 572-Vocational and 573-HigherEducation have a big impact on students arriving from the South East Asian Communities. New Skills Occupation List has dropped from some 400 occupations to 180 occupations that are in the demand list for Australian jobs.

As a result of this, new students tend to study programs that will lead toward these demand positions. This in turn has dropped the student numbers for certain spectrum of Australian Qualifications Framework. Categorising countries into risk levels from 1-4 results in a lesser number of students coming from countries like Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh, China and India.

Australian Education International (AEI) is the international arm of the Australian Government's Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). They provide leadership across all levels of government and industry to support the sustainable development of a world-class and globally connected international education and training system in Australia. AEI together with AUSTRADE runs international education seminars across a large number of overseas countries, including countries such as Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh, China and India. Since the precipitous drop in enrolment that has taken place over the last several years, it would seem that there are reasons for that decline. Some of those reasons could include the lack of marketing or lack of marketing improvements that could be made by the universities and the Department of Education. Australian universities and RTO's will require guidance and help from AEI and AUSTRADE to explore international market opportunities and make Australia one of the key destinations for international education.

International Students

The literature review provides an abundance of material related to the educational and cultural aspects of Australian society and how those aspects play into the educating process regarding immigrants and the international students that play an essential role in the Australian higher education programs.

This literature review focuses not only on the generality of those concepts but on specific aspects of how to market the Australian educational system to those students on an international basis. Some of the items covered by the literature review includes; the different approaches taken by Australian teachers, instructors and administrators in order to teach international students participating in the Australian educational system, the importance and functions of good marketing skills (as well as the difference between good and bad skills), the cultural differences found in education, and the overall influence of globalization on educational systems, especially those in Australia.

The marketing of education has a lot to do with the manner in which the educational system is perceived by those who are interested in participating in that system. Imagine being in a land where the language is much different than your own, you are a relative newcomer to the country and you are aspiring to create a new place in the world for yourself. Not only would communication be important at this point, but it would also be important for your future as well. Entering a school system that did not have the quality that you might wish for in regards to teaching you those skills via the English language, you might worry for your future. One recent report determined that such a situation might be found in Australia, at least concerning its international students. The article reported that some universities in Australia were being blamed for allowing students whose first language was not English to graduate with communication skills that were insufficient (Maslen, 2008).

Another aspect to schooling in Australia, from the international student's perspective, is acquiring a language that is not even close or similar to their native language.

A study of international students in Finland found that people who lived in countries whose official languages were not commonly spoken in other countries put a lot of emphasis on knowing other foreign languages (Lehtonen, Karjalainen, 2009).

International students would likely fall into this category and would likely choose a school system that taught English as the language of choice due to its acceptance as a major language around the world. The importance of acquiring an education affects every student, but especially those that are attempting to avail themselves of a quality higher education away from their home country. Based on the fact that these students are new to the country, oftentimes new to the language, are looking to forward their education and their career opportunities, it would make sense for the Australian educational system to enhance their learning opportunities if the end goal is to ensure a continuity of citizenship and stewardship by these young immigrants. The act if improving their educational skills and knowledge is one that would certainly pay dividends for all concerned.

Understanding these students and their needs is a necessity for any successful marketing effort. Business leader, William Pollard, stated "learning and innovation go hand-in-hand, the arrogance of success is to think what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow" (Pollard). The marketing plans from yesterday's world may not be successful in today's new global community. One recent study determined that "it is imperative to consider specific populations of students when marketing plans are developed" (Kranzow, Hyland, 2011, p. 22).

Since the focus of this report is on marketing to international students, it would seem justifiable to say that proponents of higher education marketing should know and understand exactly what the international student desires in that education. It would also seem that knowing the travails of being an international student are also of primary importance. A recent study found that "while in the role of student, non-traditional students also function as citizens, employees and oftentimes spouses and/or parents" (Spellman, 2007) while an additional study found that the labeling of students as simply customers to be satisfied grossly oversimplifies their many roles (Maringe, 2005).

Many of these students can be marketed to successfully if approached with a message that touches their desires and responsibilities. The international student is one that will likely share a lot of commonalities amongst their other international classmates and in fact some studies have shown that peer support and community, although not thoroughly researched in the area of education, is of vital importance to these students during their educational forays (Gardner 2009, Kasworm, 2010). These same studies showed that classmates serve as 'important support systems' and that environments that provide these students with the capabilities to connect will assist the students in developing 'a sense of loyalty to their peers and their educational institutions' (Gardner 2009, Kasworm, 2010).

Culture and Education

The educational system in Australia has recently undergone changes to assist in the inclusion of all students, especially international students, and even more specifically; students from Arabic countries such as Iraq, Iran, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries.

A 2008 report found that the educational focus of the newly elected liberal government was to place an emphasis on the fact that "social inclusion must be a core responsibility for all institutions that accept public funding, irrespective of history and circumstances" (Bradley, Noonan, Nugent, Scales, 2008, p. 33). In 2009, the Australian government provided two goals for the educational system; 1) that 20% of Australian university students should hail from lower socioeconomic backgrounds by the year 2020, and 2) by the year 2025, 40% of Australians ages 25 -- 34 will hold a Bachelors degree or higher. The government also reported that these goals were "integral to achieving the Government's vision of a stronger and fairer Australia" (Australian Government, 2009, p. 5). Further recommendations included one that said that students from all social strata should be provided the opportunity to study at the university level if they have the ability to do so. The Australian government seems to be attempting improvements to the educational system that should make it easier to market higher education; many of these changes on the higher level have been badly needed for some time. A recent report showed that "only three Australian universities appear in the top 100 -- The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne and The University of Sydney -- and even then in the second half of that pack" (Gale, 2011, p. 6).

Multicultural educational system

Many of the changes that are being attempted on the higher education level are needed in order to effectively market the Australian educational system… [END OF PREVIEW]

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