A QUALITATIVE THESIS EXPLORING THE VIEWS OF CARDIFF METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY AND ITS THIRD YEAR BUSINESS MANAGEMENT STUDENTS’ VIEWS OF CARDIFF METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY’S BRAND
Bennett, Rhian Mari
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This thesis has compared and explored the views of Cardiff Metropolitan University on universities as brands and their own university’s brand identity compared to the view their third year Business Management students at Cardiff Metropolitan University have of universities as brands and their university’s brand image. The reason behind this study is that from carrying out a literature review on the topic of brands and higher education brands it was clear that further research was needed to determine the impact and success of universities behaving as brands. The researcher decided that the most beneficial study to carry out to achieve this would be comparing the views of a university and their students in order to determine if their views align and if that particular university was achieving a successful brand. To achieve the aim of the thesis a qualitative approach was taken to gain the most in depth data, third year Business Management students were chosen as a sample to participate in focus groups and a member of Cardiff Metropolitan University staff volunteered to participate to offer the data collected from their viewpoint. The data collected was then analysed with a thematic approach and many overlapping themes were found, there were also themes found that did not overlap and have been identified as areas of further research. The conclusion of the research found that Cardiff Metropolitan University and their third year Business Management students both identified that universities were becoming more competitive and therefore the brand of a university is increasing in importance, the students identified that the reputation of a university was important to them, however, Cardiff Metropolitan University and supporting research suggested that they did not place emphasis on reputation. A further finding was that the size of a university was important for both students and Cardiff Metropolitan University. Recommendations found within this thesis have suggested that employability of students and the location and nationality of a university have been considered as themes that further research could be carried out within. There were limitations to the this research thesis such as only third year Business Management students participated and only one member of Cardiff Metropolitan University staff participated.
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