International Marketing Communication in Higher Education: An Interpretive Communication Audit of Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia

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Leskova, Zuzana (2016) International Marketing Communication in Higher Education: An Interpretive Communication Audit of Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This research regards universities as highly influential entities. Aside from producing and disseminating knowledge, one of the purposes of higher education is to contribute to the intellectual development of a society. In addition to this original purpose universities also have unique characteristics which, when recognised, can help them with designing new and creative approaches to marketing communication strategies. To identify these distinctive qualities, this study implemented an interpretive communication audit that focuses on the specifics and characteristics of international communication activities at Victoria University (VU). Specifically, this study set out three key research objectives: to identify specifics and characteristics of a university that can serve as a valuable source for designing new approaches to university marketing; to explore the creative potential of students to actively contribute to the development of university marketing and to test the viability of an interpretive communication audit within the university framework, while using the subjective insight and experience of a researcher. Emphasising the interpretive approach, this thesis analysed the interpretations of the University’s communication given by the international and domestic students of VU. In particular, focus groups and action groups, in which 29 VU students participated, served as specific methods for collecting these individual opinions and understandings. Following the philosophical and methodological practice of an interpretive communication audit, this thesis used students’ as well as the researcher’s own interpretations for developing creative feedforward that gives concrete recommendations on how to work with the University’s communication activities. The outcome of this mainly reveals how a university can benefit from cooperating with students on developing marketing strategies. Additionally, the last chapter of this thesis sets out specific ideas Victoria University can use for preparing new communication activities.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1301 Education Systems
Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Historical > FOR Classification > 1505 Marketing
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Arts
Keywords university marketing, Australian university sector, university students, international students, theory of communication, marketing communication, communication audit, student co-production, interpretivism, feedforward, subjectivity in research, focus groups, action groups, higher education, auditing, audits, branding, curriculum, education systems
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