Universities endeavor to attract applicants and build brand-image through promotion
Universities endeavor to attract applicants and build brand-image through promotion
  • Lee Yoon-soo
  • 승인 2015.09.22 19:47
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While high school seniors nation-wide are intensely preparing for Suneung, the College Scholastic Ability Test in Korea, to be taken in November, universities are spurting to attract more applicants through promotions on newspapers, radio advertisements and banners on subways and buses. The intense level of competition for the Suneung among high school students also exists for the university administrators who engage in the war of advertisements and student recruitment.
Strategies of promotion vary from emphasis on outstanding employment rates of its graduates, slogans stated by university presidents, ranking of universities measured by prestigious worldwide magazines, to number of graduates who passed national exams such as the bar and civil service examinations.
“We try to highlight not only our academic programs, but also the outstanding qualities of students and faculties, exchange student programs, and ongoing industry-university cooperation projects,” said Choi Jung-in, an official from Communications of Ewha Womans University.
Through various methods of promotion, universities try not only to attract applicants but remind the public of their brand-image.
“Reflecting on the past 129 years of accomplishments in women’s education, we intend to strengthen the image of being future-oriented and pursuing sustainable development in educating future leaders and innovators,” Choi added.
Some universities reveal their failures and negative reputation on their advertisements, like Kangwon National University (KNU). Recently, KNU was ranked in the lower bracket of D grade in the appraisal of colleges’ restructuring efforts conducted by the Ministry of Education (MOE).
The colleges in the lower bracket of D and E grade will not be eligible for the government’s financial and scholarship support.
In this context, getting a D grade from the ministry harms the reputation and lowers the credibility of schools for potential applicants. KNU confronted the crisis by revealing the result on its admission promotion. The school claimed that a short interview with the evaluator cannot fully reflect the school’s history and its relative merits on supporting scholarship and employment rate.
“We think the primary purpose of promotion lies on communication with students and parents,” said an official who wishes to stay anonymous from Communications in KNU. “So we did not want to hide the facts.”
Students and parents receive the messages from the promotions depending on the ranking of the school or student support programs offered by the school.
 “Even though majority of universities that actively promote their schools are in the lower ranking, it is sometimes useful to browse through information of diverse schools to look at scholarship, student activities and exchange student programs,” said Bae Hyo-bin, a sophomore in Myungduk Foreign Language High school.

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