Understand the market for master`s programmes, shape strategies
The CHE Centre for Higher Education Development in co-operation with the CHE Marketing Initiative has launched a paper on shaping master’s programmes, using demand for the programmes as its launch pad. The paper was presented on November 6, 2006, at the “Job or Master - Markt der Möglichkeiten” fair (Job or Master’s – Market of Opportunities” fair). The paper intends to develop criteria to help distinguish between offers. It argues for a strategic and considered shaping of master’s portfolios.
In summer semester 2006, 16 percent of all degree programmes in Germany were master’s programmes. However, in winter semester 2004/2005 only 1.8 percent of all students were enrolled for master’s programmes. Demand, however, will clearly rise over the coming years. It is therefore timely to rethink the strategic formulation of master’s portfolios. As the concept and shaping of such programmes involves large amounts of time and money, it has to be carried out on the basis of thorough strategic planning.
The current paper develops the essential criteria for describing master’s programmes, the relevant markets and target groups. These criteria help differentiate the programmes. It offers the possibility of a market-oriented perspective, focusing on the demands of students and employers. There are in fact very different market sectors. Finally, the paper sketches out several basic strategies, which higher education institutions can follow for their master’s offers.
The paper has been drawn up in co-operation with the CHE Marketing Initiative. The group of experts meets twice a year to exchange experiences and work in partnership on positions and concepts for higher education marketing.