Marketing of Higher Education Services in a Free and Competitive Economy
Since 1991, Indian planners have wedded with new concept of economic development which is rightly described as ‘Liberalization, privatization and globalization’. New mantra of development demands a market driven economic system and more autonomy to different players to the economy. Role of the state as a central and powerful source to drive the machine of economy is minimized and the private sector players have taken the driver’s seat.
With the advent of WTO many new elements have been introduced. The most important commercial and barrier free sale of services by one country to another. Further the General Agreement in Trade and Services (GATT) has given boost to the development and export of services of various kinds which includes education.
In last two decades, educational scenario in India has changed significantly due to policy changes in higher education. Old notion ‘education is a pious service offered without profit and it should not be sold’ is now rejected and its place has been taken by a new idea of selling quality education at a profit. Thus the concept of marketing of higher education services has come here to stay. The present paper deals with various opportunities and challenges emerging due to marketing of educational services in India.
Key words:- 关键词
Education As A Service, Higher Education, Marketing Of Higher Education Services, Commercialization Of Services, Impetus To Quality Enhancement And Social Divide.
India has a long tradition of higher education. The famous universities of Nalanda and Taxila have reigned for a long period and have gifted the world with great sages and philosophers. However, the present day higher education starts with establishment of three major universities i.e. Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai in 1857. After independence, a great boost was given to spread of higher education during planned economic era. Today, we are having not less than 50 Universities offering education to millions of students. However, the number happens to be 8% of the total learners. A large number of students and youths are denied this opportunity. Considering the resource requirement, it is not possible for the government all alone to establish more universities and satisfy the aspirations of the learners. Pragmatic solution rises with privatization of educational services. However, a private player usually works for profit. Hence, without profit element, private university initiative will not be successful. Therefore, the private institutions need appropriate marketing strategy to the right educational services.
Objectives of the paper:- 研究目的
The present paper is written with following objectives:-
Find out how and to what extent approach of marketing of higher education services can be successful in India
To identify issues and challenges related with marketing of higher education services
To identify suitable policies to popularize educational services in the appropriate learner segment
Whether India needs marketing of educational services?
In a country, where higher education is still a scares commodity and it is difficult to offer quality service, marketing becomes irrelevant. In an economy of shortages, everything and anything that is offered is easily sold, when there is no competition among the sellers and the numbers of buyers are still growing, marketing has little relevance. However, it is noticed that in spite of large number of aspirants and limited number of institution, many educational institutions acquire healthy response from the society, which is a very difficult ordeal.
Education so is service which is not easily available however, buyers do not want whatever is offered and made available. There is a mismatch between the services offered and the services demanded. Many educational institutions are not getting appropriate response from the society for simple reason that is the courses offered are not the one which is in demand. The learners’ expectations and demands are contrary to what is being offered and the manner in which it is offered. Thus on one side, there is a dearth of quality education needed and demanded, on the other side there is plethora of institutions offering various programmes.
Challenges before the marketers:-
Education is a service that is related with the basic aspects of human behavior which are as follows:-
Expectations of the person
Expectations of the society
Economic expectation from a course of learning
If an education service satisfies the individual expectations on all these three parameters, then the chances of success or acceptance of such service becomes more prominent. Everyone wants an educational programme that enhances the personality, enriches knowledge, develops skill and motivates to achieve higher levels of attainment. If the educational service fails to satisfy its utility on these parameters, its chances of success are very limited. No learner is interested in undertaking a programme which cannot improve the personality or enhance performance. Hence, the most important reason behind the success of an educational programme is the value addition or quality enhancement. Society also expects a particular educational programme to be of some value or utility. Educational programme should enhance general standards of understanding, social and cultural behavior, add to enrichment of values and develops rational approach. Education should make the society forward looking and progressive. From this point of view, a programme must satisfy social considerations.
The most important reason which makes an educational programme acceptable and popular is its employability. The educational programme improves the earning capacity of the individual provides with chances of employment and develop skills, caliber and competence. Such a programme has fair chances of success. Considering the above aspects, the real strengths of an educational programme are
Value addition to the individual
Demand in the market
Approach of employers
Enrichment of personality
Future potential of success
Popularizing educational programme: – What a marketer should do to popularize educational programme in a competitive environment, what are the areas where the marketer should pay attention, how he should design the USP (Unique Sales Proposition) are the key issues.
Following suggestions are made to popularize and market educational service to the appropriate segment:-
Understand the educational environment: – This will facilitate to know what are the expectations, environmental considerations governing educational scenario etc.
Understand the learner’s psychographics and socio graphics: – This will help us to know what are the key issues related with personality and individuals expectations from different educational programmes. This will also help us to analyze the mindset, thinking and attitude of the learners in given society.
Examine the demand patter: – This will help what kind of programmes can be offered and in what manner.
Studying the supply dynamics:- This will facilitate in examining the potential and future demand for various educational programmes
Employer’s expectations: – Find out what are the programmes and skills needed by different employers and job providers. This will help in designing need based and situation specific programmes.
Examine the contemporary social beliefs and expectations:- This will facilitate in knowing what is the general approach of society and how the society looks at different educational activities and programs.
Understand the competitive nature of educational sector: – This will help in knowing the demand – supply gap and areas where new programmes can be easily offered.
Thus a model marketer can rightly offer different educational programmes by marketing it in an effective manner. The competitive environment where profit is the key element and marketing is the basic initiative, a service provider cannot succeed without appropriate marketing strategy.