Gap Analysis for a University Abroad


North Carolina State University is a public, coeducational research school. Their objective is to analyze the market conditions for opening a campus for a US university within China.  This would allow for the development of a strategic roadmap for the university to utilize. The market conditions and nature of the key players have been utilized as a comparative measure.


The market potential regarding a US University in China was analyzed by:

  • Gap analysis
  • Comparative SWOT
  • Radar Chart
  • Best in Class Marketing Approach

At least one analytical tool per segment was used to generate the data.  The following 8 parameters were set for qualitative and quantitative data:

  • Cost effectiveness
  • Course Offering
  • Student Profile
  • International Partnerships
  • Faculty
  • Reputation
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Physical Location


  • Low market potential for US school due to preference of local students for local institutions
  • Local students prefer to study abroad rather than at an extension university for a US university in China
  • Majority of respondents of the research prefer to study in Beijing and Shanghai.
  • Local key players rarely use advertising campaigns to attract students. The reputation of the schools is considered as the advertising campaign used by local universities.
  • Only 30% of students desired to attend China based US Universities; of those students from international schools, those who failed the entrance exams, and the middle class are the most likely to go.
  • Implementation will require a substantial dedication of top resources
  • Partnership with local players (businesses and other colleges)
  • A strong marketing campaign including the use of the yearly education expo
  • Limited use of scholarships because they are viewed as a negative in terms of quality
  • Curriculum focus needs to be at industry standards per subject; English is an area of focus that would be very useful
  • SWOT analysis reveals major weaknesses in 5 major universities.  US universities should take advantage of their strengths: e.g., highly regarded standards/curriculum and more relaxed and holistic student development  

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