Australia Realigns its Branding to Attract International Students

October 09, 2013

Australia Realigns its Branding to Attract International Students

Australia is making an all out effort to build its brand as an education hub among potential international students. To achieve this objective, the country has realigned its advertising and outreach strategy with the launch of a "Win Your Future Unlimited" postcard competition. Writing about the new approach, Andrew Robb, Australia's Minister for Trade and Investment says, the focus of the new strategy is, to shift away from the practice of portraying the country's lifestyle and natural beauty as USPs for attracting international students. The new focus is to emphasis on how Australia can help international students, fulfil their career ambitions, through quality education.

Education is Australia's fourth largest export

Explaining the rationale behind the strategy, in an article published last week, in The Australian, Mr Robb provides some interesting statistics to demonstrate the importance of the education sector for Australia.

Competing with the US, UK and a few other countries for student enrolments is Australia. Statistics show how successful it has been in this regard. Thus, for example, in the year (), it earned $ 15 billion from student enrolments alone, which stood at 500,000. The revenue and money earned in and by itself is big enough but pales in comparison to the kind of people-to-people contacts and good will generated that will last decades and which is incalculable.       

Postcard competition

The "Win Your Future Unlimited" competition, invites international students to design a digital postcard depicting how education in Australia will help them achieve their future dreams.

It is one of the "most important ways to improve Australia's reputation as a reliable provider of high-quality education services."

Supported by corporate entities and the education sector, the competition offers participants the chance to win a year's free study in Australia. Winner of the competition will be announced in December.

Explaining why the competition is branded 'Future Unlimited,' the minister writes that, the objective is to portray what "we believe that an education in Australia can help shape a student's future by giving them a greater chance of success."

Target market

Quoting, UNESCO forecast, the minister says that the number of internationally mobile students will almost double from 4 million in 2010 to 7 million by 2020 and many of these will come from Asia's new middle class.

The competition is therefore being promoted worldwide through social media and digital advertising, he says. The branding is now being used in promotional activities and advertisements in over 50 countries.

The promotion focus, however, is particularly in major source markets such as India, China and South Korea. The government is also seeking to target new and emerging markets such as Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey and Vietnam.

Of Australia's 41 universities, 37 institutions are among the approximately 300 licensees around the world who are involved in using and promoting the brand.

The effort is to reinforce positive perceptions about the country's education capabilities and encourage potential international students to consider Australia as a destination for their studies, says the minister.

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