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U.S. Universities Competition to Australia in Asia

U.S. Universities Competition to Australia in Asia

Australia faces tough contest with US for Asian students. The worst global recession in 75 years is delivering a cruel blow to Australian universities. For years America’s leading public universities have quietly watched Australia’s success in educating thousands of full-fee paying Asian students, especially from China. Now forced to find new sources of income, these great institutions are rapidly moving to adopt the Australian university business model.

Australian universities are facing the challenge of competing for Asia’s best students against global brands such as Berkeley and UCLA. After two decades of practically unrivalled access, Australian universities need to review their comparative advantage against this new and formidable competition.

Is the threat real? To answer, it is worth looking at the strategic motivations of American public universities as well as the Asian attraction to studying in America.

Australia had been spoilt with the Colombo Plan injecting the equivalent of billions into scholarships post WWII in Asia which could be seen as the market development for success in recruitment and export income for the past 20 years (not to forget that Australia got in first).

The future now requires a new age of marketing, as opposed to short term promotion and sales, innovation is required. This includes focussing upon education and study experience quality, student and stakeholder feedback, employment outcomes (lobbying Australian govt.to ensure PR options remain). Marketing needs to become innovative virtual based “inbound marketing” versus traditional solid state “outbound marketing” via physical personnel, travels plans, fairs, brochures etc.

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