Purpose: The aim of the study is to analyse marketing challenges facing Polish public universities. Polish universities must urgently adjust their educational offers to deep declines in internal demand and to increased internationalisation of the educational market. The author explores the impact of management decentralisation in faculties of higher education institutions upon their market orientation, relationships with the external world and commercialisation of educational services targeting foreign students.
Methodology: The study is based mostly on direct observations and an extensive review of international literature devoted to the model of the university of the future and its relationships with the environment. The author has been lecturing on marketing for many years; he also manages educational business programmes at a large public university in Poland where he acts in the capacity of a dean.
Findings: Future universities should develop an array of services based on the relationship marketing with key strategic partners (business, local authorities, students and graduates). The idea of a modern educational service should be based on an individual approach to students expanded with complementary services. Educational services should be developed interactively in cooperation with key stakeholders.
Practical implications: Polish public universities should become more marketing oriented and develop a set of commercial educational services addressed to foreign students and to entrepreneurial and internationally-oriented Polish students.
Originality/value: Conclusions formulated by the author result from his long personal experience and knowledge of the specifi city of the educational market in Poland and across the world and his experience in managing an interdisciplinary faculty of a large public university. The interdisciplinary approach to the subject combines elements of the relationship marketing and interactive development of new educational services.