Promoting Laurea via exchange students
We want to study the needs and preferences of exchange students studying in Laurea. This will help us to understand what kind of services they require from Laurea and LAUREAMKO (our student union). As we provide better quality services the students will knowingly or unknowingly promote Finland when they go back.
Creating a better customer service environment for the exchange students will create value to Laurea, LAUREAMKO (our student union) and Finland among them. Almost all the services provided by Laurea are free but LAUREAMKO has quite a variety of different products and services which create income to the student union. Increasing the cash flow to LAUREAMKO will only benefit the students as LAUREAMKOs main goal is a happy student. Services provided by the cities cost usually but there are a lot of student discount e.g. for public transportation. Students also get a lot of discounts with their student cards and it's up to the student unions to negotiate the deals.
Creating a better experience for the exchange students and ensuring that their stay in Finland and Laurea goes as smoothly as possible will at minimum create a word-to-mouth promotion amongst the exchange students. When they get back to their universities the word about Laureas and Finlands benefits will spread creating additional demand for us. This will help Laurea and its students to have more options where to go as an exchange student due to the demand for Laurea and Finland. A better way to promote Laurea and Finland would be getting the exchange students more involved in the promotion process. Not only they would be telling about their experiences to their friends but preferably promoting them to classes. If the university offers this kind, or similar, possibilities it should be investigated how the exchange students could be encourage to participate in such activities.
The target group is the exchange students who stay in Finland for only 4-5 months. Every 6 months a new group of students arrive. This gives a nice cycle to get the new students comfortable and send them off to tell about their experiences. There are also students that are studying in the bachelor degree program for the whole 3,5 years but as their university is Laurea they won't be able to promote it abroad that much. Also considering the fact that the services that exchange students get also apply mostly to bachelor and Finnish students is a plus.
Both Laurea and LAUREAMKO should be very interested in increasing their profile abroad. The generation of better services won't necessarily even cost that much as all the basic components are already in place. Also as Laurea has its own student that work on project this can be also done as a student project without any cost what comes to salaries or rewards.
The problem is identifying the weak points that need upgrading and also finding new solutions to the problems and needs of the students. The problems can be identified by a questionnaire and/or individual interviews. There might also be differences between nationalities and so on. The study should be done to new students as soon as possible after they arrive so that the problems that the students might have faced are in fresh memory. The data will be collected and analyzed and put in use for the next bunch of exchange students.
The research should be done in Laurea Leppävaara and maybe also in Tikkurila if there are enough resources. Leppävaara is chosen because it has the majority of the exchange students are in Laurea Leppävaara unit and it has a wide variety of different degree programs.
Modified 2011-02-12 01:37:23
Opportunity: Exchange students will have a better time in Finland, thus more universities will be interested in Finland and Laurea
Threat: Something has not been taken into consideration and it will affect negatively on the next group of exchange students