“Which One Is My Preferred Ivory Tower?” An Analysis Among Islamic Secondary School Students in Malaysia
Muhamad Zaki Mustafa, Khairunneezam Mohd Noor, Suria Hani A. Rahman, Hanim Hj. Misbah, Zainol Abidin Ahmad, Suhaili A. Jalil, Zaliridzal Zakaria,Othman A.Rahman, Zulfadhli Hamzah

The higher education environment in most developing countries, including Malaysia have become more competitive, particularly to increase the number of students’ enrollment. This paper aimed to find factors that the students consider upon  their higher education program. It is crucial for higher learning institution to understand the perceptions and expectations of students and transform them into marketing activities that will attract potential students. Past research stated that higher education has become a positional good in which some institutions and programs offer are seen, in the eyes of students, parents and employers, as better social status and lifetime opportunities. This study involved 1000 respondents among students from Islamic secondary schools throughout Malaysia. Descriptive analysis was used to identify the factors students considered as crucial in their choice and decision making. The findings show that interest to academic program is the highest choice while career opportunities made the second. The findings have implications for related university positioning in a diversifying recruitment market, and for a reconsideration of marketing and recruitment strategy at institutional levels.

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