Ethics in Educational Marketing

By IGI Global on Sep 13, 2011
As online academic programs continue to become more common and grow in popularity, marketing of these programs is a necessity to inform potential students of their many educational options. For the schools marketing their programs and the students preparing to enter this sector eventually, however, a variety of ethical questions are raised. Students are free to choose the universities and the academic programs that they wish to apply to and participate in, but can the marketing techniques employed by programs skew students' perception and affect academic freedom?

These issues and a variety of related topics are addressed in a recent teaching case study titled " Academic Freedom and the Ethics of Marketing Education," which is contained in one of IGI Global's most recent casebooks, Cases on Innovations in Educational Marketing: Transnational and Technological Strategies, edited by Purnendu Tripathi, Ph.D., and Siran Mukerji, Ph.D., both of IGNOU, India. Academic freedom is acknowledged to both define the university and to protect its status. A commitment to academic freedom must be reflected in organizational structures and attitudes. However, many of the uses to which universities are put by the state, and the choices made by universities themselves, can erode the effective protection of academic freedom.

The author of the case study, Francine Rochford, La Trobe University, Australia, describes the overall purpose and point of the case study saying,

"The deployment of marketing techniques, including technological advances, to mimic the activities of private corporations, are frequently part of the wider systemic threat to the university ‘system' in most modern economies – its deployment in instrumental economic goals. If these goals are pursued to the exclusion of other university goals, universities' raison d'être will be diminished. In particular, academic freedom as a corollary to scholarly practice and a model of inquiry will be threatened. The casualization of the university workforce is both a managerial mechanism to effect economic goals and a cause of growing instrumentalism in the sector. Universities' increasing deployment of casual staff presents a problem for the real exercise of academic freedom, and is an abandonment of the ethical role of the university."

To learn more about this teaching case, visit

Teaching cases such as "Academic Freedom and the Ethics of Marketing Education" provide important information to students through learning about real world events. This teaching case and all other IGI Global teaching cases are highly recommended for use in the classroom to enhance the education of students. These cases are available for classroom use at the affordable price of only $3 per student, per case. To learn more about IGI Global's Teaching Case Collection, visit

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