Malleable Musings

December 5, 2008

Comparing the Car and Education Industries

Filed under: Branding, Conferences — Brendan @ 8:37 am

I was at a session on regional trading blocs in education yesterday.  In terms of content:

  • Alison Doorbar from JWT talked about the research they have done in East Asian student mobility.
  • Frances Kelly (EU office of the Ministry of Education, New Zealand) mainly talkled about Education at a Glance and the three main educational trading blocs
  • Don Olcott (OBHE) talked a bit about the why – pointing out a range of facts on the way – I don’t think I ever realised that by 2015 China will have the largest population of English language speakers.  He also pushed the point that, “there are institutions playing in the international market that have no business being in the market.”
  • Colin Grant (from Surrey) challenged the subtext that there is a market to be carved up and that the characterisations that Education is trade, that Trade blocs exist, that there is Competition over students or that Globalisation is new.

I didn’t think it was the most fantastic of sessions as I don’t think that there was much to be learnt, however there was a question to the panel on whether the Car and Education industries can be compared.

I think maybe that the panel were probably expecting something deeper or more topical.  I certainly was.

Instead it ended up being phrased in terms of, “a Lexus is a better car than a Rolls Royce, but some people still want to buy Rolls Royce…”

It’s still a good question.  After all cars are expensive purchases but essentially all they do is get you from A to B.  OK so some cars may have slightly different features but essentially people will buy based on their emotional connection to the brand.  (Thought to self: What do we do to build this emotional connection?)

However, I was expecting either the question to move on to Fordism or post-Fordism in education (I work in distance education after all) or for it to be about branding (after all a Lexus is just a Toyota and a Rolls is just a BMW – and these Liverpool degrees are really from Laureate). Alternatively I was waiting for some sort of comparision with the parlous state of the big three American car companies!

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1 Comment »

  1. […] They usually offer fantastic networking opportunities.  However some of the sessions are a bit hit and miss. […]

    Pingback by Going Global 4 #gg4 « Malleable Musings — March 11, 2010 @ 11:29 pm


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