Helen Haywood, senior lecturer and deputy programme leader for the marketing communications degree, was awarded best paper in the marketing of higher education track at the Academy of Marketing Conference last week.
The event, held at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel from 7-10 July, attracted about 300 presenters from more than 450 applications to present. Several CMC staff attended and presented at the conference, which was hosted by Bournemouth University. Below is Helen’s abstract for the winning paper.
“Wading Through Water” – Parental Experiences Of Their Child’s HE Choice Process
In an increasingly marketised and competitive UK HE environment understanding the student decision-making process has become very important. At the same time, there has been an increase in parental involvement in this choice amongst certain groups of parents. This paper examines parental accounts of their experiences and involvement in their child’s HE choice process. It finds that the choice process is experienced as a form of parenting. Participants described their efforts in trying to get their child to talk to them and to achieve a balance in terms of their involvement and that of the child. This idea of relationships impacting on the choice process is one which is almost entirely missing from the choice literature and warrants further investigation.
In this paper, parental experiences are examined relating to the literature on choice and student and parental decision-making within HE. The research adopts a qualitative phenomenological approach with parents focusing in detail on their actual experiences and on aspects of importance to them.
HEIs should be wary of over-estimating the choice processes which students and their parents engage in and of assuming that parental involvement leads to a more thorough process.