Sunday, January 22, 2017

Australian universities TV advertising blitz

Australian universities are currently conducting a TV advertising blitz, with some extravagant claims made. Charles Darwin University (CDU), claims to be a ‘new world university’. This is a curious claim to make, as CDU is not in the new world (the Americas), but  Darwin (Australia). The video shows an animation of what looks like a desert canyon and an island with skyscrapers, neither of which are characteristic of the small mainland tropical city of Darwin.

CDU also claims to be ranked in the top 2 per cent of university’s worldwide. This is based on raking 251 in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, out of an estimated 23,000 universities world wide. However, there are 34 other Australian universities in the list, with the lowest at 601. This makes CDU a mid ranking Australian university, in a country which overall has very good universities.

CDU are not the only ones with creative ads , or the first. In the 2016 "We're here for you" campaign, Swinburne University had a tutor appear in person, seemingly out of nowhere, to help an on-line student in a cafe. It seems unlikely that Swinburne deploys tutors to cafes around Australia.  ;-)

Strange claims, are not confined to Australian universities. In answer to the question "What is Athabasca University's ranking in Canada?"
Athabasca replies: "Distance education institutions such as Athabasca University are not ranked in the same way as traditional universities.". This is clearly untrue: Athabasca is included on the Ranking Web of Universities alongside non-distance universities. Athabasca ranks quite well, at 40 out of 352 in Canada (1229 in the world).

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