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Abstract

Selling the course experience to future students has been corporatised across the Higher Education sector. At many universities marketing and sales specialists, such as ECU’s Student Recruitment Team, rather than academic staff, field prospective student enquiries. Representing courses authentically is crucial to matching future students with an appropriate course experience and career, as well is managing future students’ expectations. A challenge for academics is communicating the course/career experience to university sales agents (recruiters). A challenge for recruiters is conveying an authentic course experience to future students when they have not taken a course themselves. This paper selects two ECU courses, Social Work and Paramedicine, and examines the relationship between academics and recruiters. Particular emphasis is placed on authentic representation of the course experience to future students. The 360 Degree Authenticity (360da) framework was used to examine the quality of authenticity in communication and sales techniques through convergent interviewing. Findings indicated that authentic representation of the course experience depended on a professional trust between individual academics and individual recruiters. Findings also indicated that academics and sales agents emphasised different aspects of the University to future students; but both used credibility markers such as accreditation. Academics were more focused on the career experience, recruiters were more focused on the university and course experience

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