STUDENT PERCEPTION OF THE CORPORATE IMAGE OF GODFREY OKOYE UNIVERSITY, ENUGU
The study examined the Image of Godfrey Okoye University by the graduating students of 2017/2018 session of the university. Quantitative design and survey methodology was adopted for this work. The population for the study consisted of 471 graduating students of 2017/2018 session with a sample size of 261. The study was anchored on two theories. Stake holders theory and excellent theory. The study found out that the learning facilities in Godfrey Okoye University are of a high quality and it satisfied the students of the university and also that Godfrey Okoye University has good quality of academic staff. It also found out that the students of the university view the regulations on the social life of the student while on campus as unnecessary and that the attitudes of non-academic staff of the university are not satisfied by the students of the university. And it recommends among others that Public and private Institutions should as a matter of priority make use of good quality learning facilities in their different institutions and also employ good quality staff that will boost the knowledge of the students through good teachings as such will encourage more students into their institutions . Universities should take part in interval research to know the needs, wants and challenges of the students as this will help them draw a concrete and efficient program for the students.
1.1 Background of the study
Corporate image communicates the institution`s mission, the professionalism of its leadership, the caliber of its staff and students to their entire publics. It is the impressions, knowledge, feelings that people have about an institution. Since the inception of Godfrey Okoye University Enugu, they have experienced growth variously in everything they do. Godfrey Okoye university the catholic university of Enugu diocese in Enugu state since 2009 had been in forefront of other university that were established with them and even before them in Nigeria. Anieke .C, (2015). The good image of Godfrey Okoye University had earned them collaboration with influential people and organizations both within and outside the country like Birmingham University, Portsmouth, Coventry University United Kingdom, Johannes Kepler Universitat Linz, Austria and Bowen University United States. Aneke. C,(2016).Corporate image has become a prominent paradigm and has begun to be link to strategic management decision of an organization including institutions. The concept is based on recognition that students assess institutions image to know the level of their academic qualification because every good parents and guidance will like their children to attain a reputable school with good image and qualification that will equip their children with good knowledge that will make him or her a better person and also employable for job after school.
Herstein (2009), state that in order to reinforce corporate image, an effective integrated marketing communication (IMC) strategy must be developed and successfully implemented. In an attempt to maintain an atmosphere to foster trust and confidence of the students and parents, Godfrey Okoye University are linked to their vision and mission in establishing the institution which is to be the best private University in Nigeria and knowing that they can only achieve it through the positive impression of the public had employed many qualified staff comprising of prominent professors in the institution that will prepare their students to compete with other students from other continents like Europe, North America and so on. Njoku .G,(2016). Abratt and Mofokeng (2001) stipulated that vision and mission guide any organization in its daily interaction with external actors. Through their collaboration with American and Australian Universities, they laid the foundation of their mission with their students as their students attained programs with students from the above Universities; they interact and compete with them as well as measure their knowledge and these had indeed equipped them to be ahead of other Universities in Nigeria.
Organizations rely on various cues in their quest to project an image to its stakeholders. According to Fill (2006), corporate image is the out word projection of who and what the organization is to its various audience. Godfrey Okoye University Enugu is known by its publics as an institution where students graduate with distinction in both character and learning because this university does not only prepare its students academically but also morally. As a catholic university, they celebrate masses every morning for the catholic students and staff and as well allow the non- Catholics to worship God in their own program before the beginning of lectures every morning to prepare them that putting God first in everything they do is very important. Macmillan (2002) opines that reputation has been identified as playing a significant role in improving firm value. Godfrey Okoye University in their effort to ensure the safety of her students and staff had employed many security personnel that guard her environment against armed robber or kidnappers of any kind. The 2017/2018 graduating students of the University perceives that the University has a better corporate Image to other Universities. Good image promote good reputation of an institution, the concept of image has gone deeper and broader, it has universally acknowledge that image can be shaped by both tangible and intangible characteristics, formal and informal factors. Therefore seeking sustainable image should start with the identity representing the values and performance standards clearly.
Reputation management should be based on holistic approach, one’s reputation is being driven by behavior, communication, visual appearance, result, their interpretation among various publics, as well as by exogenous factors media messages, gossips, other stakeholders review and appreciations. Developing comprehensive image and reputation in an institution should be based on determining identity and profile of desirable image band reputation, analyzing internal and external environment, identifying stakeholders and their importance, measuring and evaluating present image.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Assessing her corporate image is necessary for any organization, institution, because their success or survival depends on the quality of their relationship with the publics. Quality relationship and sustained goodwill with various publics depends largely on the image the various publics hold about such organization or institution. Just as individual cannot survive in this competitive world without others, also an organization cannot sell without its publics. Godfrey Okoye University like every other institution,need the goodwill of her respective publics to survive. Students are very important group that the university relates with. Students are the main reason why educational institutions exist. The students of Godfrey Okoye University came from various families and from different part of the country. They have relationships with relatives and other young people who may be in search of a good university to attend. The impressions that students have about the university will determine what they will be telling people out there about the university.
Graduatings students having spent about four years or more in the institution and ready to spread into the larger society are expected to be positive ambassadors of the university. If they have great, positive impressions about the university, they will naturally become positive campaigners, spreading the good news about the university to others. This will increase the traffic of prospective students seeking to be admitted into various programs of the university.
Similarly, if students hold negative impressions about the university, their comments about the university will scare other prospective students from the university. This will rubbish to a great extent every other efforts of the university to become more acceptable and attractive to prospective university students and their parents.
This work sought to ascertain the corporate image of Godfrey Okoye University as it is in the minds of the 2017/2018 graduating students.