An investigation into the implementation of relationship marketing on international student retention : a review of four business schools in the Greater Manchester area

Omoruyi, TU An investigation into the implementation of relationship marketing on international student retention : a review of four business schools in the Greater Manchester area , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

One of the most challenging issues facing Higher Education Institutions in recent years has been how to develop and gain competitive advantage in the global marketplace which is currently experiencing increasing and intense competition. The growth in competition has been driven, in part by the goal of every Higher Education Institution to internationalise. Consequently, the notion of international patronage, in terms of attracting and retaining international students, has become increasingly significant. Based on these competitive forces the aim of this study is to evaluate critically the implementations of relationship marketing initiatives by Business Schools as it relates to international student retention. Three stakeholders studies of a total of fifty two participants including: nine Business Schools managers; thirteen academic staff working in Business Schools and thirty international students (undergraduates & postgraduates) participated in this study. The study involved four Business Schools in the Greater Manchester Area. These participants were selected as a result of their direct involvement with the research focus. The Business School managers included a Business Director, Deans, Academic Deans, and International Directors who were directly involved in developing and applying relationship marketing approaches in their respective Business Schools. Academic staff included staff members who were involved in delivering teaching to international students in their Business School. The International students were from thirteen different countries. Data was collected using: semi-structured face-to-face interviews; focus groups; observation and documents reviews. A number of important findings have been obtained from the data collected which were analysed using thematic analysis. Firstly, results showed that whilst there are several definitions of international students’, there is agreement amongst all stakeholders about the importance of international students not only to Business Schools but also to the local and national UK economy. Secondly, the results revealed that several aspects of the relationship marketing approach including extra academic support and student integration etc. were significant for international student retention. Thirdly, the study reveals that current RM practices do not focus sufficiently on individual students cultural and religious backgrounds. Fourthly, the results show that current relationship marketing initiatives are perceived by stakeholders to have positive implications for retaining international students in the participating Business Schools. The implications of the results are that Business School managers and staff members should endeavour to understand international student dynamics and as a result develop unique aspects of their relationship marketing approach that focus on such dynamics. Business School should engage all international students and employees who are in contact points with international students especially academic staff who develop marketing policies that are international student related. Business School managers should also consider involving students extended family prior to, during and post student experience of study as they are often the financial source for the student and key stakeholders in the student decision making process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Funders: TREVOR UYI OMORUYI
Depositing User: TU Omoruyi
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2017 09:58
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2017 09:58
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/40244

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