First, Jie Liu believes that it is vital for every postgraduate marketing education provider to understand the three characteristics of a postgraduate marketing student which are motives, expectations and preparedness. Liu divided the factors that may perhaps motivate students to choose postgraduate marketing education into intrinsic, extrinsic and career related. In a research executed by Liu where questionnaires were distributed to marketing students of four different British universities, the result depicted that what motivated students for marketing postgraduate studies were intrinsic and career related factors. This means that students chose the postgraduate marketing program at their own will so that it could help them build a career and provide them with greater opportunities. This is the reason why there are numerous international students in the United Kingdom as several students from developing countries such as India and China believe that studying abroad can help them attain suitable jobs. “ It is encouraging to find that far more of the Chinese students, who have invested so much in terms of family finances and effort to go to the UK to study, were optimistic rather than pessimistic about their career prospects” (Counsell 2011: 71). In regards to expectations, Liu states that all students expected that they would be provided with theoretical as well as practical knowledge on the subject. Postgraduate students have high expectations that the programme will teach them a lot which will be of significance in their future. Furthermore, Liu identifies the characteristic of preparedness to be essential. Postgraduate students need to be prepared, having an understanding of the course and a series of skills to help them cope with their postgraduate education. Liu then distinguished home and international students in regards to preparedness after carrying out a further analysis. The results showed that international students were less prepared than home students. There are various reasons as to why an international student could be less prepared such as different learning techniques, difficulty in understanding the language, culture shock and not being able to adapt to the British environment. Thus, Liu seeks to provide knowledge about postgraduate marketing education in the United Kingdom by measuring the motives, expectations and preparedness of postgraduate marketing students.
Second, the article written by Liu has its own strengths and weaknesses. The utmost advantage of the article is that it focuses on a particular field which is postgraduate marketing education. This could assist other marketing researchers and leaders with their study as there are limited researches emphasizing on postgraduate marketing programme. In addition, Liu succeeds in creating an understanding about motives, expectations and preparedness of postgraduate marketing students which would support postgraduate marketing providers to design their programme accordingly. With these assets, the article does hold out flaws as well. The research prepared by Liu where questionnaires were given out to marketing students of four British universities did contribute accurate answers but there were limitations. As stated in the article, the research was made using the questionnaires returned by ninety five students which is relatively a small number for a research made for postgraduate marketing education and the four British universities surveyed were all set in a particular geographical area in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Liu mentions that a single quantitative method is used in data collection and that there is no qualitative approach practised in the research. Even so, Liu points out differences between home and international students which could be imprecise as with such a small survey it is not plausible to accomplish a clear and wide picture. “ Provision of higher education for international students has become an important source of income for Western universities and these students have attracted research attention” (Huang 2008: 1003). Therefore, even with an abundance of facts, the article seems incomplete and lacks precision.
Third, Liu definitely recognises the growing importance of postgraduate marketing education and wants postgraduate marketing students as well as the postgraduate marketing providers in the United Kingdom to benefit from the programme. Since international students constitute majority of the programme, Liu believes that these international students should receive maximum advantage. Marketing education providers should be able to help, support, and understand international students so as to improve the experience for students which would support United Kingdom to hold onto its leading position in the education market globally. “ At a time when higher education institutions are developing strategies to expand the numbers of postgraduate students, identifying the academic and social needs of full-time postgraduate students is of paramount importance” (Humphrey and McCarthy, 1999: 371).
To conclude, Liu mentions that international students come all the way to the United Kingdom, paying a massive amount of fee, thus, there money should be valued and they should be provided with a theoretical and practical knowledge experience. This would deliver an advantage to the students and the education providers in the United Kingdom.