The confluence of changes faced by higher education institutions has led to government engagement in higher education with a view to seeking wider and deeper participation of citizens in skills development directly aligned with economic achievement targets (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, 2008). State-supported institutions are expected to achieve these aims whilst concentrating on greater efficiencies and improvements in the quality of provision in the context of significant increases in competitiveness. The policy shift is, in part, a reposition of higher education from a public to private good that will reduce public spending. This in turn has led managers of higher education institutions to focus on ways to re-align or re-balance scholarly activity with the consumerist production of student learning opportunities. The embracing of a consumer ethos and the marketing associated with it drive the new character of higher education institutions: universities become market-driven as they strive to meet the needs and wants of their target market. This shift of emphasis draws attention to marketing as a core technique to drive student recruitment, institutional positions and student experience.
This conference could not be more timely. Fees and private provision are increasing in their level and intensity, and stakeholders need to have their voice heard in the Administrative corner of all institutions. This conference provided the forum for a discourse concerned with Marketing of higher education and is a must for marketing practitioners and academics with an interest in higher education.
Held in the beautiful island of Cyprus, this annual conference provided the ideal location for debate, conversation and scholarly activity.