Vision, culture, and image: a systematic review of higher education online branding
Craig, Chris D.
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Guided by The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), the primary objective of this study was to gain insight into higher education online branding. An integrated mixed-method synthesis was used to summarize 76 qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method, peer-reviewed empirical studies from 2011 to 2021. The Vision-Culture-Image Alignment Model and Twelve Categories of Determinants of Selective Reporting were recruited to limit and outline potential bias and conflicts. The results reflect insights from over 100 countries, 2,400 institutions, 13,000 participants, 800 websites, and seven social media platforms. This review indicated that institutional brands often align with history, geography, and employment industries. While institutions have scaffolded digital technologies to extend their ability to connect, they often rely on low-engagement activities rooted in broadcasting information. Students, in turn, seek out institutionally-mediated technology to gain personalized insights into technological capability and culture. They also connect online to form subcultures more readily, and enhance their educational experience.