A taxonomy of prestige-seeking university students: strategic insights for higher education

Riza Casidy*, Walter Wymer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the importance of psychographic characteristics as potential segmentation bases in the higher education sector. In particular, we develop a taxonomy of university students based on their achievement orientation and prestige sensitivity. The study analyses the survey data obtained from 948 respondents using cluster analyses and multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA), indicating interesting findings. Three distinct clusters emerge, namely Strivers, Modest Achievers and Prestige-seeking Innovators. Findings reveal that Prestige-seeking Innovators have a more positive attitude towards the university, whereas Strivers have the strongest sense of regret over their decision to enrol at their current university and would seize the opportunity to enrol in a more prestigious university. The taxonomy is highly relevant to marketers of higher education institutions as it gives insights into potential bases for segmentation, positioning and communication strategies targeting the specific characteristics of each segment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-155
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Strategic Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Achievement orientation
  • attitude
  • cluster analysis
  • higher education
  • prestige sensitivity
  • segmentation


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