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ERIC Number: EJ986718
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb-12
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
The Secret of Success for a Branch Campus? It's All in the Marketing
Lipka, Sara
Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb 2012
When the global financial crisis hit Dubai, many of the Indian expatriate families whose children went to university there sent them back home. But while sons were leaving, daughters were staying. How better to attract the attention of female prospective students than with a young Bollywood actor? Ranbir Kapoor visited University of Wollongong in Dubai in November to promote his new film, "Rockstar," and hundreds of Indian women--and men--flocked to the university. The down economy looms large for international branch campuses, which now number 200 around the world, mainly in Asia and the Middle East. A handful of optimistic ventures have ended in high-profile closures, and many outposts, both established and fledgling, struggle to succeed. To be solvent requires the steady revenue of tuition, but building a brand and recruiting students are formidable tasks. Still, college administrators often go in with a ""Field of Dreams" mentality: If we build it, they'll come." Wollongong, a branch of the Australian university in New South Wales, takes nothing for granted. Striving to maintain a strong reputation in the region, the university draws ever more students to its three buildings in the education theme park of Knowledge Village. Its population of 3,100, evenly split between undergraduate and graduate programs, plus 500 English-language students, comes from 95 countries, and new enrollments in 2011 were up more than a third over the previous year. Coming to Dubai in 1993 gave Wollongong an early foothold, but it can't rely on that in a crowded higher-education market, where studies now show that supply exceeds demand. One of more than 80 universities in this shiny desert metropolis, Wollongong has been agile and aggressive in international recruitment, among other pursuits. Wollongong also invites local high schools to bus over their students, and it takes them to the activities area, usually clacking with Ping-Pong and billiards matches. Television ads also direct students to Dubai, as they watch, for instance, "American Idol" on India's Star TV.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Arab Emirates