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March 10, 2014 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Know Your What?

Data indicate that money spent by tertiary institutions on advertising may be ineffectively spent, while the University continues to be unclear on how much it spends every year on advertising.

The Graduate Longitudinal Study baseline report suggests just 3.8 per cent of people in their final year of high school considered university marketing as being in the top three reasons that they chose the university they did. This figure is one-tenth of the perception of academic quality, and one-17th of having the course that prospective students wanted.

In 2013, ACNielsen revealed that Victoria University had spent $2,870,521 in 2012 – $170.15 per student. Of this total, $1,088,159 (39.7 per cent) was spent on television, $844,178 (29.4 per cent) on outdoor media, and $674,041 (23.5 per cent) on newspaper advertising. The remaining 7.4 per cent was split between radio, online and magazine advertising, in that order.

However, this year there has been a far less transparent breakdown of advertising spending at Victoria University. The University provided Salient with a figure of $600,000. When the discrepancy between this and prior spending was questioned, a University spokesperson said the $600,000 figure was the media costs for the University’s main recruitment campaign alone.

“The ACNielsen figure will also include other University advertising covering things such as events, staff recruitment, recruitment of postgraduate and post-experience students,” the spokesperson said.

The University would not give a figure on overall ad spending, but said that it was “comparable to most of its competitors.”

VUWSA President for 2013 Rory McCourt told Salient last year that money spent on tertiary advertising was better spent elsewhere. He accused universities of “boasting” of their worth via television, radio and newspaper advertising, when current students were “desperate for tutorials and a decent lecture theatre.”

“These are dollars which could have been going into providing tutes for 300-level courses, or even a cut in our fees,” said McCourt.


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