Higher education, competitiveness, value, image, image assessment indicators
The paper addresses the issue of image creating system for educational organizations. It emphasizes the need to apply more marketing tools in university management system to make it more flexible in adjusting to changes in the market economic situation and meeting clients' demands. The paper puts forward a process-oriented axiological approach to the assessment and creation of image. This approach reveals the dynamic properties of image and the prerequisites for its quantitative measurements, detects and strengthens the competitive positions of any university at the region and country levels. A complex of systemic and structural approaches serve as a theoretical methodological base for the obtained results to assess the image creating processes and the impact of image on a university's competitive ability. A questionnaire survey was used in the empirical analysis of university students' values. Within this research, image refers to a symbolic value-determined view of a university among the targeted social groups, clients, consumers of educational services. The research contributes to the expansion of the conceptual and categorical framework of imagology - the concepts, such as "image exploitation", "image degradation", "image inertia", are formulated and justified. The process-oriented axiological approach helps to assess an image and a university's competitiveness on the grounds of value concept at all stages of study (applicant - bachelor, bachelor - master (specialist), master (specialist) - PhD student), helps to make informed decisions about funds allocation. The necessity to evaluate the personal and public values of educational market participants is justified. The impact of each component of image on developing the perception of a university among consumers in the context of the dynamic environment of educational service market is specified. The tools for analysing the image development level and assessing its impact on a university's competitiveness are developed.
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