Managing External Relations

Managing External Relations

Managing External Relations

Managing External Relations

Synopsis

Universities and colleges must pay attention to their external relations. They need good media coverage, successful fundraising, effective student recruitment and good relations with a wide range of groups. This book gives practical guidance on how to manage all areas of external relations: what to do and how to measure your success. The contributors are experienced practitioners who share their knowledge on everything from how to deal with the media to creating a web site, and from producing publications to advertising. For chief executives and senior managers, there is sound advice on how to organize the work efficiently. The world of marketing has arrived in higher education, with branding, positioning, market research and product truths now familiar concepts. The book cuts through the jargon and provides usable advice in an informed and informal way.

Excerpt

Post-secondary educational institutions can be viewed from a variety of different perspectives. For the majority of students and staff who work in them, they are centres of learning and teaching in which the participants are there by choice and consequently, by and large, work very hard. Research has always been important in some higher education institutions, but in recent years this emphasis has grown, and what for many was a great pleasure and, indeed, a treat, is becoming more of a threat and an insatiable performance indicator, which just has to be met. Maintaining the correct balance between quality research and learning/teaching, while the unit of resource continues to decline inexorably, is one of the key issues facing us all. Educational institutions as workplaces must be positive and not negative environments.

From another aspect, post-secondary educational institutions are clearly communities, functioning to all intents and purposes like small towns and internally requiring and providing a similar range of services, while also having very specialist needs. From yet another, they are seen as external suppliers of services to industry, commerce and the professions. These ‘customers’ receive, inter alia, a continuing flow of well qualified, fresh graduates with transferable skills; parttime and short course study opportunities through which to develop existing employees; consultancy services to solve problems and help expand business; and research and development support to create new breakthroughs.

However, educational institutions are also significant businesses in their own right. One recent study of the economic impact of higher education in Wales shows that it is of similar importance in employment terms to the steel or banking/finance sectors. Put . . .

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