1. Market research and demand analysis
In order to come up with a successful marketing strategy, a first step is to define the market or relevant market segments. Therefore, the market segments to work on have been narrowed down spatially (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), institutionally (institutional type: university) and in terms of the language of instruction.
The following questions are to be answered:
- How big is the current market volume, the current market growth and the predicted future market growth?
- Which are the basic needs of clients in the characterized market and which kind of changes are to be expected?
- Who are the relevant competitors in the market and the respective market segment, what are their strengths and weaknesses and what do their strategies look like?
In order to better understand the demand side in advanced professional education, namely the need for single modules or whole study courses, several empirical survey projects have shall be conducted. In the course of the project, several questionnaires shall be developed and implemented as online surveys. The following groups are to be interrogated:
- Alumni of international master’s programs at Ulm university
- Current bachelor students (fifth and sixth semester only)
- Current master students
Ulm University would like to tailor its offers of further education even better to the need of these target groups. It is to be found out, how these target groups assess the current course offers and ideas shall be generated about new course offers (mainly in English language).
Furthermore, throughout the project “SAPS:RI”, the demand from medium-sized corporations shall be investigated. It is to be examined, if, on the side of corporations, there is need of further education with English as instructional language (let it be low-threshold single modules or whole master’s programs). The method will be qualitative interviews. Concerning the sampling strategy is to be concerned, one has to differentiate between corporations that already employ international staff and might use English as a business language and corporations that hardly employ foreign staff at all.
2. Development of a business model
Building on the insights of the market research and the demand analysis, a suitable business model is to be developed. Considering the empirical findings, different teaching and learning formats as well as pricing options are to be taken into account. Furthermore, the target groups are to be described systematically. The business model to be developed is supposed to consider the legal and residential requirements of the target groups.
3. Prototypical implementation of single modules
During the course of the project, five modules are selected that shall be developed in English language including all the teaching and learning material. At least two Certificates of Advanced Studies (CAS) and one Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) should be facilitated in English language. Within the study program Systems Engineering, five modules have already been implemented completely in English language. Those can be transferred into the project and complemented with further modules in English language, so that single modules add up to a DAS-degree.
4. Development of first preparatory courses
It shall be inquired which topics are most suitable for a transfer and an offer in English to future students. Departing from a careful target group analysis it shall be examined systematically which groups of students respond the most to which type of bridging courses in order to develop new markets. During the projects new preparatory classes will be developed and implemented.
5. Development of a communication- and marketing strategy
Starting with the insights gained by the empirical survey strategic decisions will be made and a strategy for communication and marketing will be developed. This strategy will then be nailed down to concrete measures on the operative level.
6. Reporting system, quality assurance and public relations
During the course of the whole project new information material will be generated. Public relations are maintained, following the goal of establishing contacts to corporations and intensifying them. Furthermore, there will be written (interim) reports. It is evaluated regularly if students’ expectations are met.