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Former Member

Marketing of membership to students and faculty

Greetings members,

How does a university make best use of its membership of the UA Program to boost its visibility within the student and research communities? Quite a few members have webpages that refer to the UA program and actively promote the program but by no means all and yet from my own experience those that heavily promote the program can see a doubling or even tripling in student applications and even an increase in the quality of those applications.

But are there techniques that go beyond traditional marketing? A couple of UKI schools offer bursaries - University of Lancaster offers a £3,000 'SAP Scholarship and Surrey University offers ten £5,000 SAP Bursaries - these are reductions in the degree cost so it represents a real loss and therefore a real investment for the university. But the result is a dramatic student application increase and perhaps doubling or tripling of student numbers (say 20 to 60) counterbalances the resulting reduction in revenues from 10 students.

This is one creative technique but I wonder if any other schools from the US, Australia, Canada, anywhere has done something unique - something creative and entrepreneurial beyond mentioning the program on websites and so forth.

Martin

Martin Gollogly

Director, University Alliances

United Kingdom and Ireland

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2 Answers

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    Former Member
    Aug 05, 2009 at 11:37 PM

    Martin,

    this is a very good question for which unfortunately I don't have a good answer. As director of the Lancaster University programme that offers the SAP scholarship I can testify that we do receive a good number inquiries - if this is down to SAP or the scholarship amount is hard to say however. We have an extensive description of our link to SAP on our website and in our printed materials and many students are drawn in by the chance to learn SAP skills as part of the academic curriclum. However, very few of our students have a good understanding of the SAP world when they enter our programme and even fewer have concrete expectations.

    The best way to market the SAP connection would be to highlight the carrer prospects that SAP skills give you. This is an area we need to work on and I am happy to receive suggestions of how to do that.

    Gerd Kortuem

    Director MSc in E-Business and Innovation

    Lancaster University

    http://www.lums.lancs.ac.uk/masters/MScEbusiness/

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    • Former Member

      Many thanks Gerd,

      Yes I suspectede as such - that's another reason for the existence of the UAC. A lot of applying 18/19 year old U/G students in the UK&I at least are only vaguely aware of who SAP are - and the UA program itself serves as a mechanism to generate awareness. So I'm guessing, but I could be wrong, that MScs and MBAs that may have already had some experience of SAP will have a different set of expectations and are more likely to be attracted to a course as a result of advertising SAP UA membership? An MBA in fact may even be a user of SAP and be keen to develop a greater understanding of it both on its own and in the greater context of their degree.

      So intuitively I suppose there are two classifications of marketing effort that are needed - one to those students, mainly undergraduate, who will have had no prior knowledge of and so have to be educated in the value of SAP from a position of almost no knowledge; and those who are postgraduate who may even be deliberately looking for a means to incorporate SAP into their course. So one is an educational marketing stream - perhaps requiring some degree of interactivity whereas the second is more to explain the opportunity. Would that be a fair assumption?

      I'm actually working on promoting the career prospects myself by proposing to some SAP customers and partners that they a) provide some case studies that can be used as tangible proof that SAP is important and b) that they get involved in this forum as a means to interact with faculty and explore this issue.

      I'll let you know how I get on but hopefully we should start to see some cases and activitiy in the next month or so.

      Martin

      Martin Gollogly

      Director, University Alliances

      United Kingdom and Ireland

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    Former Member
    Aug 10, 2009 at 04:15 AM

    Hi

    We have found the best marketing to be the success of graduates. We are fortunate that we offer a range of course built around the Master of Business in ERP Systems. we have offered this course for nearly 10 years and as such it markets itself. Industry are aware of it and even send employees along to enrol. This means that there is high graduate outcomes. Also our early graduates are now project managers and functional leads on large SAP projects. If we are doing any marketing it is indirect through collaboration with industry partners through SAP Australian User Group. However we continually look for opportunities to build these links.

    It would be much harder for newer universities to the UAP as they must look for a differentiator. Whether this is scholarships, internships or innovative curriculum.

    Good Luck

    Paul Hawking

    SAP Academic Program Director

    Victoria University

    Australia

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    • Manish,

      Hi! I did some research with a colleagues and received the following response...

      "In Canada, our members currently focus on integrating SAP content in business curriculum. However, one member, Dalhousie University, is beginning to integrate SAP HANA into the Computer Science curriculum. The faculty contact at Dalhousie is Michael Bliemel m.bliemel@dal.ca."

      Best regards,

      Richard