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  • 2018jamesphd

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Understanding international student recruitment as export marketing behaviour in higher education institutions

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
  • Melissa James
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Publication date2018
Number of pages260
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore how higher education institutions (HEIs) develop, perceive, and manage the recruitment of international students. Many HEIs seek to attract international students through marketing and recruitment activity. This study explores the recruitment of students from foreign markets and explores the nature of export marketing behaviour from three institutions in Canada, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. HEIs exist in both public and market orientations (Marginson, 2016, 2017). These divergent orientations shape how and why some HEIs may adopt certain export marketing behaviours and others do not. Using activity theory to explore the practice of international student recruitment at three case studies in Canada, Hong Kong, and the UK this study shows that practitioners face similar challenges in their practice primarily in the form of competition and culture. Competitive forces act upon the recruitment of international students creating tensions in their practice as actors in institutions attempt to respond to markets. However, their reactions are different due to their internal culture, history, and institutional capacity. These factors help to understand the complex nature of higher education’s dual public and market orientations and contribute to understanding why export marketing behaviours are unique to each HEI. This study shows that by examining strategy practitioners of international student recruitment, HEIs can improve their international student recruitment practice by understanding the convergence of national policy contexts, market forces, and internal culture on their practice.