Marketing Strategies for Competitive Advantage: A Survey of Selected Public and Private University in Kenya

Cheruon, Rebbeca Cheruon, Nyangosi Richard


Kenya’s higher education has remained the fastest-growing segment of the education system over the past 20 years, with enrolments increasing on average by 6.2 percent per year. The current trend in universities is characterized by aggressive competition especially with the establishment of satellite centers across the country and use of different marketing communication (MC) tools to attract potential students. To examine the differentiation strategies used by public and private universities in Kenya to attain competitive advantage the study was conducted in one private and one public university in Nairobi, Kenya. The target population comprised of students, senior administrative staff and marketing units of the selected universities. Comparative study research design was used. Purposive sampling was used to select a private and a public university, based on student enrolment, brand image and demand for programmes offered. Following this, the selected universities were stratified by disciplines and courses taken and the respective respondents were finally selected using systematic random sampling. The data was collected using questionnaires and interviews. Questionnaires were used to collect data from students while interviews schedules were used to collect data from senior administrative staff, marketing units and key informants of the study. Both descriptive and inferential statistics (correlations and regression) through the use of statistical package for social sciences were used to analyze the raw data. The findings indicated there is variance in the application of differentiation strategies.

Key Words: Differentiation, Marketing, University

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