1 Universidad de Valencia (SPAIN)
2 Universidad de Almería (SPAIN)
3 Universidad del Zulia (VENEZUELA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4243-4252
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
This project has been elaborated in the context of the R+D National Plan SEJ2007-68105-C02-01 and 02/ECON of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science and with FEDER funds.

In a world where knowledge has become a key resource, governments have realised the importance of developing the intellectual capital of their citizens. In this context, the topic of Lifelong learning (LL) has became of inmense importance in the policies and practices of a big number of institutions recently.
Approaching higher education institutions as service providers to the very complex net of social agents to whom they must offer effective solutions, determines the base for the application of the Stakeholders Theory and, therefore, to consider students, companies, and media as subjects to be included in this Research Project. Furthermore, a LL approach drives to the need of analysing and developing students’ loyalty in whatever their life cycles stages as well as other affecting characteristics, as gender.
All these can effectively be approached from the Marketing Relationship Theory framework, which usefulness has been successfully evidenced in private and public organizations, profit and non-profit organizations, final consumers and relationships among companies (B2B).
Finally, the implementation of Information Technologies (IT) to the education area is believed to be a basic innovation to facilitate individuals accessibility to Ll education.
From this approach, the main objectives of this Research Project are:
-To conceptualize, operationalize, and evaluate LL in the Spanish higher education system, focusing in the three main agents involved in the processes: students, companies, and communication media.
-To analyse the relationships of students or users of LL education services offered by Universities, paying specific attention at the role of variables such as: perceived university image, personal values, perceived value, satisfaction, student-university identification, commitment, trust and loyalty.
-To determine the degree to which the student’s socio-demographic profile (gender, origin) and the use of education IT moderate the relationships analysed.
-To analyse the companies-Universities relationship, investigating its quality and influence on the level of participation of the companies in different activities offered by the University, as well as the moderator rol of the relationship life-cycle.
-To analyse the image projected by the University in communication mass media regarding the services of LL, as well as its impact on the previous relationship framework.
-To segment students of LL attending their behaviour (through their personal values) and socio-economic variables.
Qualitative research and primary data obtained through questionnaires (CATI&Web) will provide evidence about the hypotheses proposed. Several statistical multivariate analyses of the data will be employed, including causal analysis.
The original value of this project relies in the framework approach, the variety of topics included as well as the hypotheses proposed in the specific context of relationships between students-universities; companies-universities and mass media-universities. Two Spanish Universities have been chosen to test the hypotheses: University of Valencia and University of Almeria, which are very much different in characteristics as size and age.

lifelong learning, university, relationship marketing, loyalty, education it.