The UK has the second largest share of the world market in international students and the annual export earnings of the UK HEIs sector amount to about 4bn (Riordan, 2005). British universities tend to have a strong reputation internationally for two reasons: history, in particular Britain’s role in the industrial and scientific revolutions, and research output, acrossthe great majority of disciplines, the productivity and quality of UK research is second only to the US.
‘Universities in England do not have a uniform governance and manage-ment system and it is difficult to give a straight forward picture of the sector due to the fact that the HEI has grown up over several decades and there have been several waves of “new universities” over this period’ (Ackroyd andAckroyd, 1999).
After the second World War the university sector in Britain has beenmostly characterised by two types of institutions, Universities (about 40 inBritain) and Polythecnics, that only after 1992 obtained the right to awarddegrees. Ex-polythecnics (new universities), about 45, have been developedwith a very different governance and management system from old universi-ties, as this were strongly shaped by the reforms that took place in Englandduring the 80s. The Jarrett Report in particular, an inquiry on British HEpublished in 1985, introduced for the first time managerialism and abolitionof academic tenure in the university, Jarrett viewed universities as enterprisesin which students were the customers.
Old universities, and Southampton University is one of these, are coop-erative and participative in their basic design, they are governed by statutesand charters which make provision for a court, a council and a senate inwhich academic staff is mostly represented. In traditional universities thesenate and the council are in dialectical contraposition and their powers arealmost equal (Ackroyd and Ackroyd, 1999). Old universities are managedfor the benefit of the groups having an interest in them and have thereforehigh levels of participation in decision-making, which makes their processestoo slow and makes it difficult to trace accountability.
On the other end post 1992 universities are shaped around instrumentsand articles of the government and their staff is regarded as employees of acorporation other than members of the university. The main governing body4.2 The Role of Marketing in HE 49is the board which is much more restricted in number than the councils inolder universities and can contain no staff and no students (Ackroyd andAckroyd, 1999). Some of the business is restricted to non-staff non-studentsmembers. Independent members should be the majority and should comefrom a background of industry (Ackroyd and Ackroyd, 1999). New universi-ties are generally efficiently managed but have poor academic excellence whileold ones are academically very strong but lack management and direction.