ERG SES C 08, Secondary Education
Although there are some similarities, education systems can be different from country to country. China has a vast and varied school system, and it represents a pyramid. The compulsory public education system administered and funded by the Ministry of Education is a nine-year program which starts at the primary level, for all citizens aged 6 to 15. There is another parallel model for five years of primary school and four years of middle school. After middle school, there is three years of high school, which completes the secondary education. Demonstrative high schools are the ones that fall under the Education Laws, regulations and other related policies, and initiate educational and teaching reforms.
Research around the topic marketing in education has increased rapidly. Marketing can be defined as ‘mange profitable customer relationships’ (Kotler and Armstrong, 2014). Marketing itself can be seen as a philosophy, a function, a strategy and relationship (Drysdale, 2001). However, in education, marketing concept needs to be clarified. This paper explores deeper into four case studies for an answer. How a school defines its ‘profitable’, ‘customer’ and ‘relationships’ would indicate how it marketsitself, to what extent it is market oriented and how it brands itself. Market orientation is an organization’s efforts and behaviors to orient itself towards the market, and outlines five dimensions of marketing proposed by Arifin and Drysdale (2015).
The study aims to investigate the extent that Chinese demonstrative high schools have adopted a marketing perspective. The study will explore two demonstrative high schools in Northeast China from two perspectives: market orientation and marketing management. The study will adopt a mixed methods approach based on a multi perspective case study methodology that includes interviews, document search, observation and survey instrument.
The question that guides this research is: To what extents have the two Chinese demonstrative high schools adopted a marketing perspective: a market orientation perspective and a marketing management perspective?
Sub-questions1. How does the school market itself? (Marketing) 2. To what extent are the schools market oriented? 3. How does the school evaluate and measure its performance? 4. How does their marketing strategy impact on the school’s activities and long-term decision-making? 5. How are their marketing strategies linked with the teaching and learning process? 6. In regards to their market orientation, how areschools in China similar or different when compared with schools in Australia?
This research is important because:1. As Chinese high schools have become increasingly competitive, it appears that many have adopted a marketing perspective, the degree to which schools have applied marketing has not been fully explored; 2. There is limited research in marketing in schools in Northeast China, especially in the high school education sector; 3. The research will inform administrators, academics and other interested groups of the marketing strategies and activities used in Chinese demonstrative high schools; 4. The way organisations market themselves has been transformed through the introduction of social media; this aspect of marketing has not been explored in high schools； 5. Early research by Yang (2011) showed that a government primary school and a private tertiary school developed a strong marketing perspective; however, it is not possible to generalise to other educational settings. 6. A comparison with schools in Australia will contextualize the marketing and market orientationtowards an international perspective.
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