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TitleA model for branding practices in a new South African Higher Education landscape
AuthorVan Gensen, Garth Allister
SubjectBrand name products - Higher education
SubjectEducation, Higher - South Africa - Management
SubjectEducation, Higher - South Africa - Marketing
SubjectBrand name products - Marketing - Higher education - South Africa
SubjectBrand name products - Management - Higher education - South Africa
SubjectMarketing - Management
Date2014-10-08T20:57:51Z
Date2014-10-08T20:57:51Z
DateOctober 2005
TypeThesis
Format2743750 bytes, 1 file
Formatapplication/pdf
AbstractThesis (D. Tech.) - Central University of Technology, Free State, 2005
AbstractDistinctive challenges are currently facing South African higher education institutions. Among others they are funding; quality assurance; globalisation; the emergence of private higher education; the idea of an entrepreneurial university as an alternative; enrolment capping; as well as merged and incorporated institutions. It is critical that these challenges be addressed urgently. However, the lack of proper marketing and branding strategies at institutions of higher learning in view of the new unfolding national and international landscape, leaves much to be desired. In the past, branding of higher education in South Africa was not an area of priority, because higher education operated in a protected, regulated market with a steady income. The current higher education scenario necessitates higher education institutions to revisit their branding strategies as a means to grapple with the distinctive challenges facing them with the purpose of enhancing quality; delivering graduates to the world of work; as well as being relevant by being responsive to society and the economic needs of the country in order to adhere to the outcomes of the National Plan for Higher Education (NPHE) (RSA DoE 2001). A thorough literature study involving current and relevant literature on branding and branding practices was undertaken, after which a mainly qualitative research approach was followed. Focus group interviews at two entrepreneurial universities abroad; informal conversation interviews at seven South African higher education institutions; as well as a case study were conducted. Participant observation in the workplace relating to branding and branding practices also took place. The constant comparative method of data analysis was used to capture recurring patterns and themes during the research process. What became evident from the literature was that branding strategies of higher education institutions are generally restricted to informing and visual identity. The results of a survey done in 2004 by UNITECH, a body representing marketing and communication units of universities and former technikons (currently Universities of Technology) in South Africa, was also quite significant for this study. The following deductions regarding marketing and communication practices at South African higher education institutions could be made from this survey: There is a lack of an integrated marketing approach; executive management lacks understanding of branding practices; there is a lack of strategy with regard to marketing and branding; as well as a lack of internal communication. These deductions were consistent with the researcher’s own observations and are also confirmed by the informal conversation interviews held at the seven South African higher education institutions as part of the empirical investigation. The case study to highlight the branding practices of a higher education institution in the central region revealed that the implementation phase focused strongly on external/outward exercises, and that the internalisation aspects of their branding were narrowed to information only. The new visual identity of the institution was emphasised, whilst the internal processes remained the same as always. The aforementioned aspects are an indication that South African higher education institutions need to re-visit their internal practices. A market orientation mindset is of crucial importance for higher education institutions in South Africa to move towards an entrepreneurial mindset. The Universities of Warwick (England) and Twente (the Netherlands) were selected for this study as a result of the astounding successes they have achieved with their entrepreneurial activities. According to the respondents from both universities, the following aspects – among others - are extremely important for their successes: visionary leadership; an integrated entrepreneurial culture; a focus on external as well as internal communication; and relevance. The primary purpose of this study was to develop a model for South African higher education institutions which would ultimately result in brand enhancement of institutions that would be perceived as relevant and society-minded to live up to the challenges of the new and changing landscape in South Africa. The proposed model in this study is based on two overarching fundamentals, namely the experience economy and its relatedness to brand, as well as relevance and branding, which should be an integrated approach that could ultimately lead to successful external branding.
PublisherBloemfontein : Central University of Technology, Free State
Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/11462/58