When the University of Melbourne (UoM) was established in 1853, there was only one other competitor in Australia, the University of Sydney . However due to the geographical distance between these two competitors, they appealed to different markets, Victorians and New South Welshmen. Hence rivalry within the industry was nonexistent. Therefore rivalry among existing competitors was a minimal force and did not affect tertiary education in 1853.
In order to found a university in 1853, large amounts of capital, competent staff and board, strong demand, land, and permission/legislation from the government in charge were all required. All these factors made the threat of new entrants very low, this was demonstrated by zero competition until 1910 with establishment of education act that bought about an influx of TAFE and technical colleges. Thus, the threat of new entrants was low and had a negligible effect on tertiary education.
The number of factors that were/are required to be combined to provide a high class university education, such as skilled staff, massive amounts of capital and teaching resources meant that the process was difficult to imitate and hence was relatively well protected from substitutes. The closest substitute in 1853, the mechanical institute of Victoria offered practical training and instruction for skilled labour in the workforce, yet lacked the superior educational combination offered by the UoM, which included advanced instruction and teaching in the classics and politics as well as complementary services such as the residential colleges set up on the university’s perimeter . Such services as the colleges enhanced the functionality and cultural experience of the university, by offering students food and board, extra tutoring, sports training and religious support, services that further made it an inimitable product.
The bargaining power of buyers during this time was low; as...