Student recruitment in the higher education sector of New Zealand : comparison of traditional versus social media marketing

Thumbnail Image
Other Title
Ragini, Yogita
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Business
Unitec Institute of Technology
Mitchell, Helen
Marriott, Jeff
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Auckland (N.Z.)
tertiary education
higher education
education marketing
college choice
social media advertising
print media marketing
student recruitment
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Ragini, Y. (2016). Student recruitment in the higher education sector of New Zealand : comparison of traditional versus social media marketing. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Higher Education is increasingly using both traditional media and social media, and this thesis compares the effectiveness of specific traditional media and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube) used by New Zealand Higher Education to recruit students. The social media platform has become the new trend for marketing especially in the younger generation. Customers gather information in order to make decisions on final purchasing by looking at the number of likes or content on reviews. Higher Education needs to be aware of this trend in order to use the right tool to market and compete for local and international students at a minimal cost especially when it comes to using traditional media. This research focuses on the implementation of social media marketing and investigates what students are using to source information to make their final choice on which HE to pursue their studies. The research approach uses both qualitative and quantitative to investigate this. Three HE institute from the Auckland region were chosen for this research. The data gathering took place in three parts: 1. semi-structured interview of twelve students; two local and two international students were approached from each of the three HE; 2. trends on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and twitter usages from the three HE was gathered; 3. printed material was physical collected from the three HE’s open days and was compared with their online portal. The findings of this research offer a significant insight on how new students gather information before enrolment into a particular HE. What were the preferred medium of gathering information? How HE can use this information to boost their marketing tactics and minimize their cost? The research suggests that the potential of social media marketing has yet to be truly realized in the HE sector as there is still a reliance on traditional marketing as the primary or even sole source of information.
Link to ePress publication
Copyright holder
Copyright notice
All rights reserved
Copyright license
Available online at