Exploring Difference: Positioning your Institution – Marketing and Branding

Berlin, 30. April 2009 13:00 bis 20:00

Over the last decade, internationalisation has become one of the major strategic tools for universities worldwide to successfully position themselves in search of the best students and the offer of highly attractive academic programs. The institution’s attractiveness is playing an important role to increase it’s visibility, to foster it’s reputation and to secure it’s share of resources. Applying market rules has become a prominent governance factor for universities in those countries attracting the largest share of the 2.5 mio international students worldwide. Hence, marketing and branding are at the core of institutional strategies for universities in the UK, in Australia and in the USA, followed by Canada and Germany as fairly new and quite successful major players on a global scale. The seminar ‘Exploring Difference: Positioning Your Institution – Marketing and Branding’ aimed to provide a comparative view at various institutional ways of universities from the US, UK, AUS and CAN which have in the past successfully positioned themselves in their quest for the competitive edge in their home country. Senior experts from these countries have been invited who are in charge of institutional policies; they represent universities that are to some extent comparable to German public higher education institutions, and that face similar challenges. They have discussed their individual institution’s perspective and experiences on how to raise their institutional profile, how to develop an institutional strategy, how to adopt instruments such as branding and marketing to reach this goal, and how to master academic, institutional and political challenges on the way. The individual workshops moderated by these experts have addressed issues such as

  • How to develop core institutional messages,
  • How to create a corporate identity and how to include faculty,
  • How to implement a demanding set of new academic and institutional tasks with limited funding in a public institution.
  • How are individual niches for institutions – in a region, or nationally or even internationally – to be determined?
  • How important is an institutional brand, and how can student and faculty support for ‘change’ be secured?
  • What, for example, is the role of transparency, and how can it contribute to acceptance and relationship building within institutions, and with alumni, sponsors and regional partners?
  • What is their role in institutional marketing and branding?
  • How is success defined, and what can students, faculty or even the local state (or federal) government gain?

A plenary session at the end of the half-day event has brought together the results of the regional workshops and provided a platform for the exchange of comparative views and a final discussion. It concluded by a buffet reception for all participants.