Fish for international students in blue oceans
I am certain that many of you have read the book, “Blue Ocean Strategy,” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.
The authors’ basic premises are that red oceans are populated by similar companies (or colleges and universities) competing for the same market. Supply, in red oceans, exceeds demand.
Blue oceans are defined by the authors as untapped markets, not currently in existence. Blue oceans create new demand. Blue ocean companies don’t focus on beating the competition. Rather, they make the competition irrelevant by opening up new and uncontested market space.
Statistics supporting higher education blue oceans
On May 14,2015 UNESCO reported that from 2000 to 2014 global participation in higher education increased from 19 percent to 32 percent. Many of these new international students did not travel abroad for their education but rather enrolled in online or MOOC courses. (Example of new and uncontested market.)
A report by the Organization of Economic Operation and Development revealed that there were about 1.8 billion people worldwide in the middle class in 2009 and by 2020 the global middle class is estimated to increase to 3.3 billion. (Example of new demand.)
Last year the U.S. Census Bureau reported that only one-third of American adults have a bachelor’s degree and there are 35 million college dropouts over the age of 25. (Is this a new cohort of students for competency-based degrees?)
Examples of blue ocean thinking
Enrolling high school seniors in first year college courses
Offering college courses to international students
Partnering with retailers to offer college courses for employees at a reduced rate like the agreement between the University of Arizona and Starbucks
Developing a stacking credentials document (listing competencies) to replace the traditional college transcript.
How to fish in blue oceans for international students
Create new marketing and recruitment plans, based on research, that move from strategy to execution, and create a culture of curiosity and imagination that challenges deeply held beliefs and university cultures.