University of Twente Student Theses


Performance measurement in the University of Twente : student perspective

Weng, Weilei (2009) Performance measurement in the University of Twente : student perspective.

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Abstract:This thesis is focused on the examination of the information sources and information types that influence a student's college choice in The Netherlands, and exploration of the ways in which the University of Twente can take this into account to become more attractive to prospective (inter-)national students. Therefore, the central research question is formulated as: Which sources and types of information affect a student’s college choice behavior, and in what ways can the University of Twente (UT) take this into account to improve its attractiveness to prospective students? Based upon the theoretical study on student college choice, we find that the decision to enroll at a particular university is a complicated and lengthy process, during which prospective undergraduates and graduates are influenced by different factors. In comparison, graduate students are more concerned about the academic environment of the institution, the content of the program, and future career prospects. Generally there are three categories of information sources that students use in the college search process: direct sources, media sources and social sources. These information sources contain different types of information which may be used by students. At the central university level, there is general information about the institution, campus, admissions, and financial issues; while at the faculty level, information is more focused on the study programs and the faculty itself. In order to communicate effectively with potential students, it is important to take into account the specific needs of different student populations. Dutch students are attracted by universities with more diverse course offerings and the quality of student life; German students choose on the basis of their personal interest in a specific subject and the increased employment opportunities; Chinese students who are strongly driven by investment motives expect a high quality of education and a successful career in the future. Since higher education rankings play an informative role in students’ college choice, many Chinese and German students turn to the rankings to make more informed decisions. The empirical research on the UT’s communication strategy is done through interviews with the communication department and the institutional research office, as well as a review of the internal documents of the university. Assessing the differences between the current and desired strategy enables us to identify room for improvement. We recommend that the UT make use of some additional information sources (e.g. an English-version alumni magazine) and integrate more valuable information into its communication strategy. Education performance information, in particular, can be used which gives potential students a better picture of the education quality of the university and assists them in making better decisions. Moreover, the UT can improve its strategy toward international students by communicating the university's strengths to students, providing more career advising and counselling services, and creating a more international atmosphere on the campus. Hopefully these efforts would help the UT satisfy the needs of different student populations and increase its attractiveness to prospective (inter-)national students, leading to increased student applications and enrolments, and increased revenue of the university.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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