Changes in the higher education landscape have led to many higher education institutions
reassessing their recruitment and marketing strategies. A proper understanding of the relative
importance of the choice factors that prospective students consider when selecting a higher
education institution will enable higher education administrators and planners to allocate
funds, time and resources more efficiently and effectively. The research aimed at identifying
the choice factors that discriminate between different ethnic student groups within South Africa when they go through the process of selecting an education institution. A convenience sample of 1 241 respondents was drawn, representing six public South African universities. The findings indicated that the multi-cultural nature of an institution and the opportunities for a social life on campus were the two most powerful discriminators between the two ethnic groups. The results can aid university administrators and planners in developing effective marketing and recruitment strategies to attract students from different ethnic groups.