Revealing the Underlying Insights on the Use of Social Media by Foreign Students—A Qualitative Approach

Gengeswari, K., Sharmeela-Banu, S. A.


Student retention’s strategy has been key interest of Universities worldwide in line with its potential benefits in improving the University’s image besides contributing to the improvement in the institution’s financial performance. Recent communication technologies which are known for their ability to reaching the target market have gradually nullified the utilization of the traditional advertising tools. Of these communication technologies, education institutions are gradually embracing the social media in order to leverage its potential benefits. Review on the past studies reveals that there is an abundant of quantitative researches which investigated the use of social media by university’s students where limited focus was on the qualitative approach. This study intended to explore the underlying insights on the use of social media by carrying out semi-structured interviews among foreign students of the private higher education institutions located in Klang Valley, Malaysia. This study found that utilization of social media, quality information, usage influences and students’ engagement are the four important themes pertaining to the use of social media discovered from the interview sessions conducted. This study also provides several implications for both practitioners and academics.

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