Publication Date

2016

Degree Name

MA in International Education

Abstract

This purpose of this study is to find out what role agents play through marketing community colleges in the Swedish education market and recruiting Swedish students to U.S. community colleges. This study explores Swedish education agents’ perspectives of the community college system in the United States, their experiences in marketing community colleges in Sweden, and the factors that may lead to or prohibit the success in recruiting Swedish students for U.S. community colleges. Qualitative research methods were used, which included preliminary surveys, interviews, an analysis of the agents’ marketing strategies, and a review of relevant studies. The findings revealed that agents are aware of the key benefits of attending a U.S. community college: affordability, simple admissions process, and university transfer options. Disadvantages were also noted, which included the absence of experiencing a typical American college experience and lack of on-campus housing. The marketing tactics that the agencies used ranged in size and scope. Some of the agents focused on digital marketing tactics, while others focused on a more personal approach. The research revealed that the principle difficulty in marketing community colleges to Swedish students is that they are unfamiliar with the concept of community colleges. The importance of building strong partnerships between institutions and agency partners was also indicated through this investigation. The results of this study can be used by U.S. community colleges, in order to develop successful international student recruitment and marketing strategies in Sweden. Additionally, this study provides researchers, faculty, and staff at community colleges in the United States with insight on how community colleges are perceived by Swedish students and their parents.

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education | Higher Education | International and Comparative Education