This is my Master’s thesis on Higher Education Marketing “Development of marketing planning framework for higher education programs: Application in the case of MPH.”
The rapid increase in demand for higher education combined with the spread of globalization increases the competitiveness of higher education institutions worldwide. Universities adopt concepts from the business world such as marketing to keep up with this competitive climate. Because of its nature, the implementation of the marketing concept into higher education can spoil the ethos, values, and rationale of universities. The idea of marketing, as practiced in the business world is steering universities towards market orientation, and this makes them perceive their students as customers, academics as service providers and academic research as mean for funding attraction. These market-oriented relationships create a series of ethical issues that make academics resist the concept of marketing in higher education. This research aims to create a framework for higher education program marketing planning, by examining the ethical issues of marketing application on higher education pointed out by the literature, and the existed frameworks for marketing planning at institutional and program level. This framework was applied in a real-world case for the creation of the marketing strategy for the new postgraduate program in Public Health by the Cyprus University of Technology. A mixed methodology was applied to the conduction of this dissertation: the theoretical part (model building) is based on critical, comparative literature review and applied single case study methodology for the practical part (model implementation). The problem is not the application of marketing as a philosophy and function of higher education, but the adaptation of marketing techniques and approaches from the business world. Higher education should seek to build its own marketing philosophy which takes into account the non-profit character and the social and scientific obligations of the academia. This thesis aims to contribute to the development of marketing philosophy which takes into account the ethical issues addressed by researchers and to suggest a better way of marketing planning for higher education programs.