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BUS353G E-Commerce System

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BUS353G E-Commerce System

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Course Code: BUS353G
University: Vesalius College

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Country: Belgium

Question:
Leicester College is a further education institution with a distinct and strategic plan situated in Leicester, England. A significant part of this plan is to increase the number of international students who choose to come to study in the UK at the college. The college offers a range of certificate courses and recruits students from a number of countries including India, Saudi-Arabia, China etc. who come to study. In addition, the college has 3 campuses and is also an associate college of De Montfort University, Leicester. The college is thinking of extending and growing its international recruitment by offering more courses to be delivered in distance learning mode. This delivery channel is the core channel for increasing the number of international students who choose to study at the college and increasing the number of countries the college could market their courses to. This venture provides the impetus for significantly higher revenue as well as the awareness of Leicester College in the global market.
 
This assignment is in several parts and will require you to undertake research, use and apply the knowledge that you have gained on the course and your own personal knowledge and experience.Part 1In your role as an external consultant to Leicester College you have been asked to undertake a SWOT analysis for the proposal to offer more courses to overseas students through distance learning.  Your analysis needs to be detailed and will require you to research the DL marketplace, examine what the College currently offers, what its resources are etc. You need to then create and provide a SWOT diagram based on your analysis.Based on this analysis, write a short 300 -500 (max) report that includes a summary of your findings and a list of any specific recommendations that you have. These recommendations are likely to include how any weaknesses or threats identified in the SWOT analysis can be overcome.  Part 2Having completed your SWOT analysis, using any external situation analysis model for e- commerce that you have knowledge of, for example, Porters Competitive Forces Model, or Angherns’ ICDT model, undertake an analysis and use the outcomes from the analysis, to provide a set of objectives, identify some critical success factors and key performance indicators that could be used to measure if the objectives were being met. You need only set a maximum of 5 but a minimum of 3 objectives. These can be presented in either a report or tabular format Part of your analysis should focus on what competencies and resources are required, what competition exists, what organisation changes are required or forced, what is the demand?     NB In your submission you must include any documentation that supports your analysis in parts 1 &2 Part 3 What Leicester College could do on its website to address issues such as culture and trust and how it could use on line communication tools to reach out to its potential target audience.              
Answer:

Introduction
With the increase in demand for education, investors have found education as one of the potential areas where they can invest and this has made most of them to target as many countries as possible. The advantage of targeting different countries is that it makes the learning institutions to realize various advantages such as revenue maximization and international recognition (Nicole & Andrea 2017, p. 45). It also makes the institution to attain diversity through having students who portray varying cultures, and races.
SWOT analysis
The following diagram shows some of the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities associated with Leicester College.

Strengths
Wide range of courses and values recruiting students with different cultures, races, and of different origins.
Good learning environment

Weaknesses
lack of seriousness in investing in technology and innovation
lack of proper measures in charging school fees

Opportunities
the potential to introduce more courses and also to penetrate in other markets

Threats
Cyber security
competition

One of the strengths associated with this institution is that it offers a range of courses and values recruiting students with different cultures, races, and of different origins. According to George (2010, p. 69), providing different courses gives a learning institution an advantage because it assists them to attract students with varying career dreams. Valuing admission of students with different cultures races, and from different locations is also fundamental because it makes learning institutions to be viewed as unbiased
The other strength associated with Leicester College is that its campuses are located in an environments that can favor good learning. Berman (2012, p. 54) asserts that considering to place a learning institution in a place which favors learning is crucial because it makes students to have the peace they require to study.
One of the weaknesses associated with this institution is lack of seriousness in investing in technology and innovation. According to George (2013, p. 213), technology and innovation in learning institutions is crucial because it assists students to match their learning with the changes that have occurred in the digital world. This institution also faces a weaknesses in planning on how to charge school fees because its charges keep fluctuating from time to time.
One of the key opportunities associated with this institution is the potential to introduce more courses and also to penetrate in other markets. The reason why this is possible for this institution is that it has a positive reputation and therefore many people have the desires to pursue their desired courses in this learning institution.
One of the major threats that the college may face is hacking. According to Reynaldo (2016, p. 52), when an organization operate online, the chances of having its operations affected by intruders are always high. For Leicester College, linking with international students through its distance learning platform may be affected by hackers and hence make the strategy to be impossible (Salas 2012, p. 123). The other threat that Leicester College may face is competition because other local learning institutions offer similar services.
To overcome competition, the management to should invest in technology and innovation to ensure it offers outstanding services in the industry. It is also advisable to avoid changing the rates charged for school fees from time to time so that students and their parents can be able to have long terms plans concerning the money they can spend (Zmuda 2010, p. 76). To avoid hacking, the college should establish strong security measures such as use of passwords, encryption and so forth.
Although Leicester College has various strengths and opportunities that are likely to make it succeed in its decision to penetrate into new markets, considering the Porters Competitive Forces Model is crucial because it will make the management to make sound decision concerning its expansion attempts. According to Adee (2011, p. 14, this model has five factors that an organization should consider to analyze an industry attractiveness and the possibility of success. These factors include competitive rivalry, supplier power, and buyer power, threat of substitution and threat of new entrants.
For competitive rivalry, Leicester College is likely to experience a challenge because in the countries where it targets to expand its operations to, there are also some of the domestic learning institutions that are well known for good academic performance. This implies that expanding to these countries will expose the institution to more competition.
The supplier power, in this case, will not have a significant influence on Leicester College because the institution will operate through distance learning. The buyer power will influence Leicester College because there are many students who want to attain academic excellence and will therefore seek services from this institution. Switching from Leicester College services to those of competitors will not be simple because the institution has unique strategies of maintaining its loyal customers.
Threat of substitution, in this case, will be high because this company will penetrate to these markets through distance learning program and people may substitute the strategy through building their campuses in those areas. The company is also likely to be affected by threat of new entrants because in the recent years, the demand for education has been growing and therefore private investors and governments are striving to establish new learning institutions to address the demand.
Because this company has various opportunities and challenges that affects its attempts to penetrate to new markets, setting some objectives will be essential in making it to succeed. Some of these objectives include; investing in technology and innovation to offer outstanding academic services that will challenge its competitors, doing extensive research to identify the expectations of consumers in its target markets, and focusing on enhancing the quality of its services to ensure the institution offers top notch academic performances to its students.
To address issues such as culture, the management should make the users to have first impression that Leicester College is a multicultural institution once they open the website. The reason why this strategy is crucial is that this is an institution that wants to enroll students who reside in different countries and with varying cultural beliefs (TU 2014, p. 56).
Because operating various activities through online platforms puts businesses into risks of intruders, it is advisable for the management to consider implementing some of the best security measures on its website. In this case, it should make use of passwords and encryptions to ensure the students have trust concerning the content they share. According to Chris (2015, P. 67), sharing some contents especially those that are confidential in online platforms is risky because it can be accessed by third parties. When a website becomes unreliable due to threats of third parties, the users may shift to other organizations that offer better serves and this may therefore make a business to suffer loss of market share.
The college should also include communication features such as sending private messages to various people such as tutors, the people in charge of finances, administrators and so forth to facilitate sharing of information between the student and the institution (Snart 2010, p. 87). The website should also provide all necessary information that a student wants to have. This could include various courses offered, the fees charged, how to access direct assistance from the tutors, how they can access the learning materials and so forth (George 2010, p. 68). Apart from enhancing communication, these features will make the students to develop loyalty with the website and will therefore preach good news concerning the institution, hence making it to attract more students.
References
Adee, A. (2011).  Marketing a University-Affiliated Applied Research Center: An Application Involving Hull-Spence Behavioral Theory.  Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 15(2), 12-24.
Berman, E. P. (2012).  Creating the Market University: How Academic Science Became an Economic Engine.   Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Chris, C. (2015).  Engaging New College Students in Metacognition for Critical Thinking: A Developmental Education Perspective.  Research & Teaching in Developmental Education, 32(1), 67-87.
George, K. D. (2010).  The Impact of Distance Education on Developing Nations in Terms of Learning, Society and Barriers.  International Journal of Instructional Media, 37(4), 67-78.
George, L. D. (2013).  Recharge Your Library Programs with Pop Culture and Technology: Connect with Today’s Teens. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited
Nicole, F & Andrea, A. (2017).  Using Distance Learning to Impact Access of Diverse Learners to Advanced Placement Programs.  Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 18(2), 43-65.
Reynaldo, R. (2016). . In a World of Disposable Students: The Humanizing Elements of Border Pedagogy in Teacher Education.  High School Journal, 99(4), 45-65.
Salas, V. M. (2012).  More Than Just Good Grades: Candidates’ Perceptions about the Skills and Attributes Employers Seek in New Graduates.  Journal of Business Economics and Management, 13(3), 121-134.
Snart, J. A. (2010).  Hybrid Learning: The Perils and Promise of Blending Online and Face-to-Face Instruction in Higher Education. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger
TU, C. (2014). Strategies for Building a Web 2.0 Learning Environment.  Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited
Zmuda, A. (2010).  Breaking Free from Myths about Teaching and Learning: Innovation as an Engine for Student Success. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

With the increase in demand for education, investors have found education as one of the potential areas where they can invest and this has made most of them to target as many countries as possible

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