A Welsh University client required a report on the market potential of 12 proposed MSc programmes to be delivered in fully online mode. The market research took place in three ways:
- “Transversal” market research across the world on the competitors to each course.
- Global analysis of potential for Online Masters programmes delivered in English, using UK sources (OBHE, British, BIS, HESA, UUK etc) and non-UK information from the main competitors to UK.
- Country-specific studies on countries identified as of high potential.
Conclusions are confidential but are along the following general lines:
- A list of 12 most promising target countries was constructed and analysed.
- A reserve list of 12 countries was prepared, for possible future study.
- Three priority target courses were identified. Several other courses were found where it was likely that there would be a market if a suitable syllabus, pedagogy and brand could be established.
- Significant competition to these programmes comes from a range of UK and non-UK universities listed.
- A competitor analysis of the overall ODL “strength” of each of the main UK HE providers was supplied.
- An extension of the transversal analysis also yielded the main countries of interest to competitors of the UK for online learning delivery.
- A specific balance of sole provision and partnering was proposed.
- The leading co-providers with UK footprint were analysed for relevance to partnering.
- In each country, cultural as well as price and technical barriers to entry were analysed, as were indigenous providers of online learning and possible niches (UK expats, regional expats, etc).
Benefit: Identifying realistic and targeted potential for new income generation.