The following report includes an analysis of the environment in which University of Melbourne undertakes its marketing efforts. An analysis of the marketing mix offered by the university, along with a PESTLE and SWOT analysis has been undertaken. It is also discussed how the university has positioned its brand and how one of its competitors is working.
Analysis of marketing and competitive environment of University of Melbourne
Australia is a developed country. Successive governments over the years have been taking steps to promote education in the nation. In Australia education is made compulsory at the age of five or six. There are primary schools in Australia and also those providing secondary education. Then there are universities providing higher education also called tertiary education. According to 2017 data, there are more than one million students enrolled in Australian universities, a large number of them are foreign students. These universities employ more than one hundred thousand people as staff members (Universities Australia, 2017). Australia’s largest service export is international education. Universities contribute to local communities by providing employment opportunities and growth of infrastructure in different areas. They also collaborate with industry and fruitful research takes place through the university research students.
There are so many enrolments in universities because of the impetus given to the school education in Australia. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2016 there were 3,798,226 students enrolled in schools across Australia, representing an increase of 47,253 (1.3%) on the previous year’s figure.
The above figures show that demand for education in Australia is increasing. More enrolments at the school level transform into more admissions in the universities. The number of foreign students in the Australian universities is also on the rise as shown by the following figures (Australian Trade And Investment Commission, 2017):
University of Melbourne is one of the leading universities of Australia. There is lot of competition among the universities in the country to attract students. There are many universities in Australia which are doing very well. There are top universities like Australian National University set by the Parliament. Then there are private universities like University of Sydney and University of New South Wales. There are seven Australian universities among the top hundred global universities. There are further ten Australian universities in top three hundred (Topuniversities.com, 2017). Australian government supports these universities through policies, funding and programs. But not all of the universities get government funding. University of Melbourne is able to attract sufficient number of students but there are many universities which are not of the same quality and are not able to attract sufficient students and make losses (Amsler and Bolsmann, 2012).
Marketing mix of University of Melbourne
One of the important reasons why University of Melbourne is doing good is the kind of marketing mix the university offers to the students, research scholars and the industry. Each of the seven components of the marketing mix of the university is discussed below:
Product: University of Melbourne offers a wide range of undergraduate degrees like bachelors in arts, agriculture, commerce, design, biomedicine, music, science, environment and oral health (The University of Melbourne, 2017). Students are therefore offered a wide variety of courses. They can decide which career they can prepare for. There are great number of students who would like to pursue music also. Then there are many who are interested in more courses which can ensure stable employment like commerce or oral health course. Not all the universities have the capability to offer such a wide variety of courses. No doubt, the students are impressed.
Then there are also graduate schools in the university campus like Melbourne business school, Melbourne dental school, Melbourne school of design, Melbourne school of engineering and Melbourne medical school. This shows that the university has learned professors and also the infrastructure needed to teach subjects like medicine and engineering. This gives the impression that the scale of operations of the university is quite high.
Price: The price of education in Australia is high. Different universities charge high fees as the cost of education is also higher. Buildings have to be constructed and facilities have to be maintained especially in subjects like engineering and medicine where laboratories are needed for the students to conduct experiments. Equipment has to be provided and classrooms have to maintained upto a certain standard. Australia is a developed country and facilities commensurate with the living standards of the people have to be provided. Good professors also demand higher salaries. University of Melbourne has kept its standards high and the fees are also on the higher side (Armstrong et al., 2014).
Physical distribution: The education is given in seven campus locations across Melbourne and rural Victoria, including the Parkville campus. The reputation and standards of the university make students from all over Australia and abroad come to the university for their educational and research needs.
Promotion: The university has a website which can be accessed from all over the world. The website gives vital information about the university courses and facilities. Moreover anybody is allowed to walk to the campus and take a self guided or guided tour (The University of Melbourne, 2017). There are handbooks containing information about the different courses run by the university which people can buy. The staff of the university at the campus helps the visitors with other information.
Process: The process for admission into courses is also very sophisticated. The handbook for different courses contains information regarding when the course starts along with the number of classes one has to attend and the examination. The fee for the course is deposited and after certain formalities the student is enrolled and can start studying.
People and environment: There are students, professors and the administrative staff on the campus who are all educated. The campus is big with libraries, sports clubs and student clubs. There are student activities in a calm and serene environment. There is discipline maintained on the campus. There are also some visiting scholars from abroad along with some foreign students in the classrooms (The University of Melbourne, 2017).
The university operates in Australia under certain environment. There are certain political, social, economic, legal and technological factors in the environment which affect the working of the university.
Political: Australia is peaceful country. The law and order machinery in the country is well developed. There is political stability. This is one of the reasons why so many students from abroad come to study in Australian universities. The government supports the spread of education in the country which is necessary for its survival and growth.
Economic: The Australian economy is doing well and the economy is services based. The country has trading relations in the Asia Pacific region and also with Europe and America. Students from Asia come to study in Australia despite rising value of Australian dollar (Volet and Ang, 2012). The education sector of the country faces competition from countries like United Kingdom which have now satellite campuses in Asia and Middle eastern countries for imparting education.
Social: Australian people realize the importance of education in their lives and they want higher education for their children. They have understood that higher education leads to better jobs especially in the services sector. Most of the Australians have no problem with the foreigners studying in Australia as it also results in increase in their incomes (Volet and Ang, 2012).
Legal: The Australian government makes policies which guide the operations of different universities. According to the current policies any university can enrol as many students for different courses it runs so long as the quality of education is maintained.
Technological: Australia is an industrialized country and modern technology is being used in different ways also in the education sector. Now there are computers and internet facilities in most of the universities. Lot of facilities are available for students online. They are given various information on the university website (Chaffey and Chadwick, 2015). The students are also provided online study materials and lectures.
Segmentation and brand positioning
University of Melbourne aims that the best students of Australia come to the university for their studies. Moreover the university attracts a large number of students from the Asia Pacific region. The university has been ranked the number one university in Australia. It has a high brand value (Keller, 2012). It is a prestigious university. It is projected as a university with world class facilities and employees. Therefore the students should be ready to pay good fees if they want to study in this university. Students who get admission into the university can study in the company of brightest students in the country and learn from exceptional professors.
Analysis of a competitor University of Sydney
University of Sydney like University of Melbourne is very old and has a history of more than hundred and fifty years. It has a large campus and offers a large variety of courses to students. University of Sydney’s student experience has been voted as the best (The University of Sydney, 2017). It offers various kinds of club facilities for students. In addition, there is a physiotherapist and counsellor also, for students. It has large number of foreign students also. There are student scholarships available. The researchers are offered a number of interesting projects to work for.
University of Sydney also aims to enrol brightest students and uses ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) for admission. It is a very renowned university with great reputation.
The strengths of University of Melbourne include its long history, infrastructure, qualified and experienced teachers, administrative staff and links with research institutes and industry organizations. The opportunities are that the market for education is growing in Australia. The number of foreign students is on the rise. Its weaknesses include that the fee is on the higher side and students with low marks would find it difficult to get admission into the university (Business Insider, 2017). The threat are that standard of education is rising in Asian countries also. The rising value of Australian dollar against foreign currencies has made studies in Australia costlier.
Any student would take into consideration many factors before enrolling for a university. These include the finances available with the student, the university’s fees, the infrastructure of the university, the quality of the staff and research projects undertaken by university. Different students would in many cases give different weights to different factors. The ultimate aim of many students is to get a good job after completing the studies at the university.
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Chaffey, D. And Chadwick, F. (2015). Digital marketing: strategy, implementation and practice. 6th edn. Australia: Pearson.
Keller, K. (2012). Strategic brand management. 4th edn. Australia: Pearson.
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