|dc.description.abstract||As funding for tertiary education decreases, New Zealand tertiary educational institutions have been forced to fund existing services via other means. It has been suggested that New Zealand tertiary institutions have attempted to target overseas students because of the high per student revenue received for this market segment. However, this segment seems to be growing faster internationally than observed in New Zealand, and as such, this study aims to identify how New Zealand tertiary institutions might better target this lucrative market segment.
The current study examined a group of Malaysian, Singaporean and Hong Kong students who had yet to make their decision regarding what country/institution they were going to attend, once their secondary education had been completed. The students were from a range of colleges and states in the respective countries. The students were administered a self-completion questionnaire, based on four specific topic areas: preferred promotional tools, preferred promotional messages, cultural values and socio-economic perceptions (of home country compared to New Zealand). The aim of this survey was to determine whether there were any differences in students' choice of promotion tools and promotional messages. The study also attempted to examine the students' cultural values and their perceptions of the level of socio-economic development (of home country compared to New Zealand).
Additionally, 20 New Zealand marketers were also administered a similar questionnaire that sought to contrast the assumptions that these marketers had about the markets they were attempting to target. As such, the current study has several implications for improving the effectiveness of the international marketing of New Zealand educational institutions.
Demographically, the student respondents were from a range of religious beliefs and favoured a range of countries for further tertiary education. New Zealand was of particular importance to Malaysian students with 20% indicating that this was the country they favoured, with only the United Kingdom (22%) rating higher. However, the students from Hong Kong and Singapore had much lower awareness level of New Zealand tertiary institutions.
The findings also revealed an array of differences in the students' choice of promotion tools and promotional messages. In particular, the WWW was the most common source for educational information. The second most important tool was print media. The promotion message that appealed most to the students was a quality learning environment, followed by the reputation of the Institution.
Culturally, most Asian students were very traditional and respected both their elders and those in authority. They were also ambitious and yet open to new ideas. Socio-economically, the Asian students perceived their country's standard of education and living as relatively similar to New Zealand. These differences in cultural values and socio-economic development could have caused the Asian students to value some promotion tools/messages as more important than the others. However, it is beyond the scope of this report to link cultural values and socio-economic development to the students' choice of promotion tools and messages.
New Zealand marketers seem to have a rather firm grasp of the promotional messages that are particularly important to students, however they do not understand why these messages are important, nor do they understand what tools should be best utilised to most effectively promote to Asian students. Of particular concern in this area is the extent which New Zealand marketers over-value their own contribution, whilst ignoring particularly important promotional tools such as print media.
This report then applied the findings of this study to the marketing of New Zealand tertiary institutions. In conclusion, the theme of these recommendations were that New Zealand tertiary institutions should:
"…Ask not what Asian students can do for New Zealand tertiary institutions, but what New Zealand tertiary institutions can do for Asian students…” (Paraphrasing John F. Kennedy)||en_NZ