The marketing of Australian education: The influence of normative referents on Thai students' choice of international education

Year: 2001

Author: Pimpa, Nattavud

Type of paper: Refereed paper

As international students play an important role in today's Australian education, there has been considerable interest in the subject of factors influencing their choices of international education.

Several factors have been identified as major influencing factors. It has been well reported that international students from different cultural backgrounds may react differently toward different influencing factors. In order to scope the focus of this study, the specific role of normative referents in influencing choices of international education of Thai students in Australian higher education sector is extensively examined. The theoretical basis for this study is the influence of referent group model, which posits that different reference groups may exert different types and levels of influence on students.

In this study, it is hypothesised that normative referents can influence the choice of international education via their financial, informational, encouragement, and expectation influence. These types of influences are tested to define their relationship with choice of international education, namely, choice to study abroad, choice of country, choice of city, choice of academic course, and choice of university.

The study reports the relationship finding from both quantitative and qualitative analysis.