Building an image of a higher education institution as an instrument of mega marketing

- Professor Lidia Białoń, Ph.D.

The image of a higher education institution is regarded by the author as a fundamental factor of competitive advantage in the modern education marketplace. A specific character of the modern education market is shaped by a range of rather negative for higher education trends, including first of all the declining birth rates and high unemployment among university graduates with employers seemingly less and less interested in offering jobs to them. This situation poses a real threat to the existence and development of higher education, particularly for private universities. Also, it forces universities to seek competitive advantage in the education market. A fundamental question arises: what represents competitive advantage for higher education institutions? In general, competitive advantage occurs when an organization creates values that are not created by other organizations within the same sector or when these values are created in a better or more attractive manner. Undoubtedly, a type of competitive advantage depends on a number of social and economic conditions. In poorer societies, competitive advantage may be represented by lower costs of studying i.e. lower entrance fees, tuition fees, charges for resitting exams etc. Competitive advantage may be also built by offering scholarships for academic achievements, social benefits or accommodation in a dormitory. In more prosperous societies characterised by high levels of social awareness and development, competitive advantage is created by factors associated with intellectual and personal development of students and their creativity. An important element of competitive advantage in the times of prosperity is providing opportunities for physical and cultural development by offering access to a range of facilities allowing students to follow their interests. Such facilities will include for example a swimming pool, a sports hall or a gym. Cultural life will be enhanced by a school which promotes initiatives such as student song and dance groups, cabarets, nature admirers clubs etc.

Professor Lidia Białoń, Ph.D. – is a professor at the Warsaw Management Academy where she holds the Chair of Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Her scientific interests focus on managing innovative activities and marketing, especialy innovation marketing. She has held a number of offices in managing higher education institutions ranging from the director of college to dean to pro-rector. She has authored numerous publications dedicated to marketing issues and organizational management, among which „Zarządzanie działalnością innowacyjną”, published by PLACET in 2010, deserves special attention.

Available in Open Access
Article published in Transactions of the Institute of Aviation No 226/2012
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