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Higher Education Studies, v4 n1 p51-67 2014

Universities in the United States today often proudly proclaim achievements in student satisfaction across their marketing communications. The marketing promise is that a student will be happy and satisfied upon graduation if tuition dollars are paid to a specific university. Such claims are often supported with promises of greater employability upon graduation. While some of this promise appears to be true from a socioeconomic perspective, a growing body of literature suggests that educational delivery in the United States today generally has less influence on intellectual and personal growth (Arum & Roksa, 2011; Holbrook, 2005; Vargo & Lusch, 2004; Wilke & Moore, 2003). Arum and Roksa (2011) present a recent analysis of current university students' academic and social experiences in colleges and conclude that a significant proportion of students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing. They attribute this impotence of learning to a growing student body distracted by socializing or employment and institutional cultures that put undergraduate learning close to the bottom of institutional priority lists. In this article, the authors suggest that this apparent attenuation of the priority of learning in academic organizational plans appears be attributable at least in part to recent trends in which institutions are moving toward the marketization of education. Regretfully, the marketization practices employed by most universities today appear to be based on rather archaic marketing theory (Taylor & Judson, 2011). Herein, the authors demonstrate that: (1) these emerging marketization practices tend to be more sales-oriented than marketing oriented (i.e., marketization is not marketing); and (2) such practices lead to arguably dangerous self-reinforcing pressures which appear to focus primarily on stakeholder satisfaction instead of learning, thereby, helping to explain the observations of Arum and Roksa (2011). The authors call for the adoption of marketing practices within institutions of higher learning that are more consistent with emerging marketing theory and propose a framework for measuring marketing "success" in universities that focuses on enhancing human capabilities instead of the growing emphasis on student satisfaction and employment.

Descriptors: Marketing, Higher Education, Salesmanship, Guidelines, Student Recruitment, Individual Development, Role of Education, Employment Potential, Moral Development, Cognitive Ability, Student Attitudes, Psychological Patterns

Canadian Center of Science and Education. 1120 Finch Avenue West Suite 701-309, Toronto, OH M3J 3H7, Canada. Tel: 416-642-2606; Fax: 416-642-2608; e-mail: hes[at]ccsenet.org; Web site: http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/hes





Author: Judson, Kimberly M.; Taylor, Steven A.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=813&id=EJ1076369



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