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The sun always shines

Can the weather sell a business school?  It seems an appropriate question to ask during the holiday season.  The W P Carey School in Arizona certainly thinks so – they recently tweeted that it was a perfect place to learn because of the 300 days of sunshine each year.  But does a student really decide where to study simply because of the weather?

Imagine you are an international student that enjoys winter sports.  If you decided to study in France and you didn’t want to go to Paris, then conceivably you might choose Grenoble.  Grenoble is a good school and it sits on the doorstep to the Alps.  Weather wasn’t perhaps your first motivation in choosing the school, but it was a contributory factor.

It is perhaps surprising what role the weather can play.  A few years ago I came across two tweets from a Malaysian student (@tenghock) who began by asking:

“Cheapest AACSB biz school? In the UK ka? Torn between the UK and Aus. Hate UK weather, like fees. Hate Aus fees, like weather.”

A few minutes later, the student added:

“Go University of Liverpool will be fun but location weather is like shit I hear. Even during summer”

Clearly accreditation and the reputation of the business school is the leading motivator, but weather is playing a big part.  One UK university got very excited when I mentioned these tweets, telling me that their city had the second highest annual sunshine total of any UK city.

Several years ago, CarringtonCrisp produced a report for Canadian business schools on the perception of Canada as a destination for international students.  One Indonesian student commented “Canada – it’s like Australia, but snows for five months of the year”.  Similarly, Asian students at a Birmingham business school told us that they hadn’t chosen Scotland because they thought it too cold.

Whether weather is a significant factor in choice of where to study is unclear.  Reputation, rankings, fees, employment prospects and other factors are more important in almost every project that CarringtonCrisp runs for business schools.  However, for some students whether it’s the sun always shining or the snow falling gently, the weather plays a part in their decision-making.

 

If you want to know what drives your business school's brand reputation, ask us about our branding study running in October 2017.  Email us at: info@carringtoncrisp.com

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