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The Impact of Service Quality on Students’ Satisfaction in Higher Education Institutes of Punjab

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The Impact of Service Quality on Students’ Satisfaction in Higher Education Institutes of Punjab
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  Journal of Management Research   ISSN 1941-899X 200X, Vol. 2, No. 2: E10 www.macrothink.org/jmr 1 The Impact of Service Quality on Students’ Satisfaction in Higher Education Institutes of Punjab Muhammed Ehsan Malik University of the Punjab, Pakistan E-mail: drehsanmalik@hotmail.com Rizwan Qaiser Danish University of the Punjab, Pakistan E-mail: rdanish2000@yahoo.co.uk Ali Usman (Corresponding Author) University of the Punjab, Pakistan Tel: 92-0334-447-7533 E-mail: usamaz_07@hotmail.com Abstract In today’s competitive environment, the education has not only become a major industry and need of the day but it is also an investment by the parents for their children. In public as well as in private sector the quality of education is an important factor that is considered for attracting and retaining the students who want to get higher education. The objective of this research is to analyze the impact of different quality services on student satisfaction in higher educational institutes of a big division of Punjab province of Pakistan. Both public and  private sector institutes are included in this study. Data was collected from 240 students of  business courses either enrolled in master program or graduation program in provincially chartered universities of the Gujranwala region. Sample comprised of both male and female students in equal ratio. The results show that students are overall satisfied with services of Tangibility, Assurance, Reliability and Empathy but not much satisfied with parking facilities, computer labs, cafeteria services, complaint handling system. Recommendations and implications for policy makers are discussed and guidelines for future research are also  provided. Keywords:  Service Quality, Education, Students’ Satisfaction, Perceived Quality  Journal of Management Research   ISSN 1941-899X 200X, Vol. 2, No. 2: E10 www.macrothink.org/jmr 2 1. Introduction Education is such a prestigious and fruitful investment that it always rewards in multiple ways. The strong and effective educational system results in the greater performance of the students. The educational institutions where the system is affective and administration is willing to provide the quality services always enjoy more incoming of brilliant and talented students. In order to make the institution progressive and effective the knowledge of students’ expectations, academic preferences and quality perception about the educational environment should be kept by the higher authorities of the institute (Palacio, Meneses and Perez 2002). Particularly the students who are at a higher academic level i.e. studying in a higher educational institution seek more quality education and perfection of the system at study  place because it satisfies their esteem and develops them with all the essentials and capabilities to be an effective educational personality. According to (Rowley, 1996) the students of those institution are more capable, good performers and productive who retain the  better educational service quality and provide their students what they want for their strong academic and carrier accomplishment. The students seek empathy, responsiveness, assurance during their academic development process which then facilitates them to gain extra potential to compete in the market. It is therefore, the effectiveness of the administration and management of a higher educational institution that it facilitates the students with quality assurance and personality grooming so that the students can take maximum out of it (LeBlanc and Nguyen 1997). 2. Literature Review 2.1. Student Satisfaction Kotler and Clarke (1987) define satisfaction as the desirous outcome of a task or job that  pleases one’s esteem. Rad & Yarmohammadian (2006) defined it as the willful accomplishment which results in one’s contentment. The satisfaction plays a major role in the determining the srcinality and accuracy of a system especially the educational system as higher the level of satisfaction the higher will be the level of students’ grooming their skill development, course knowledge and mentality. According to Zeithaml (1988) satisfaction is the resultant outcome of an institution’s administrative as well as educational system’s coherent performance. Because the students will be more satisfied and motivated for completing their studies if the institution provides an environment which facilitates learning i.e. the institution contains proper infrastructure for educational utility accumulated with essential parameters of professional and academic development. (Rodie and Kleine 2000)  posited a view that the students will be more motivated, loyal and good performers if their institution holds essential educational facilities with affective staff of teaching and training. The teachers’ performance in the class and outside the class is a significant feature of enhancing students’ impartiality, motivation and satisfaction. According to Wachtel, (1998) the students’ rate their course instructors’ performance and his methodology of teaching as the prime indicators in their educational development and successful completion of their studies because higher the intellectual ability of the instructor the better will be the students’ evaluation (Edstrom, 2008) and consequently more will be the reliability on the teaching staff  Journal of Management Research   ISSN 1941-899X 200X, Vol. 2, No. 2: E10 www.macrothink.org/jmr 3 (Sproule, 2000). Teachers’ ability, excellence, coordination and reasonability greatly influence students’ class performance. The students are greatly influenced by the educational activities their teacher or instructor coordinates for them. Shevlin, Banyard, Davies and Griffith (2000) stated that the teachers who teach with punctuality, accuracy, reasonability and logical approach in a student friendly manner are more popular. (Elliot and Shin 2002). Because students level of satisfaction increases by working with those course instructors and lecturers who properly handle the assignments, projects, exams and facilitate students’ logical reasoning and aptitude development (Dalton& Denson 2009). 2.2. Perceived Service Quality The perceived quality is defined as the ones’ justification about the excellence of a product or service ( Zammuto et al. 1996). According to Dyson et al., 1996 the service quality is so called the better and standardized output delivered by a service. The service quality in the educational sector particularly in the higher educational institutions is the fundamental aspect of educational excellence. According to (Alridge and Rowley, 2001) when students perceive the institution’s quality and standardized learning environment facilitated with intellectual faculty, appropriate facilities of learning and infrastructure, their interest in their organization will explicitly be retained. The students are motivated from the academic as well as the administrative efficiency of their institution. Spooreen, et. al (2007) posited a view that the organizational harmony, teachers’ intellectual ability, professional development, transparency in students’ evaluation, feedback and training are the important features that mentally develop the students . The maintenance of other essentials of quality service in education i.e. well managed and updated libraries, security systems, medical facilities, class decoration and facilitation with multimedia and sitting arrangements along with administrative staff’s cooperation play a vital role in educational support and developement (Dick and Basu 1994). According to Soutar and McNeil (1996) both academic and administrative issues of an institution are extremely important in determining the performance of students, development of organizational image and quality assurance. Elliot and Shin (2002) found that the highly significant variables in the model that appear to directly impact on overall customer satisfaction with university performance (1) Excellence of instruction in major (2) Able to get desired classes (3) Knowledgeable advisor (4) Knowledgeable faculty (5) Overall quality of instruction (6) Tuition paid is a worthwhile investment (7) Approachable advisor (8) Safe and secure campus (9) Clear and reasonable requirements for major  Journal of Management Research   ISSN 1941-899X 200X, Vol. 2, No. 2: E10 www.macrothink.org/jmr 4 (10) Availability of advisor (11) Adequate computer labs, (12) Fair and unbiased faculty and (13) Access to information Where the students also get motivated from the reliability of the facilities they are provided with, as higher the quality they perceive the higher will be their attraction and affiliation (Keller, 1993). The availability of other academic facilities like intellectual faculty, advisors, carrier counseling depertement are the features that an institution needs for its students’ better  performance and satisfaction (Bolton and Drew 1991). The services quality is mostly recognized by the cooperation of the administrative staff well as the faculty staff with the students. Majority of the students get de-motivated if they found that the staff is not compassionate and kind. According to Hasan et. al (2008) for quality assurance an institution must train its staff members in a way that it may create a sense of facilitation by means of coordination, cooperation, compassion and empathy (Jacoby and Chestnut 1978). From the literature following hypotheses can be postulated.  H1: Increase in quality of services increases the students’ satisfaction.  H2: Increase in quality of tangible services increase the students’ satisfaction.  H3: Increase in quality of assured services increase the students’ satisfaction.  H4: Increase in quality of reliable services increase the students’ satisfaction.  H5: Increase in quality of responsive services increase the students’ satisfaction.  H6: Increase in quality of empathy services increase the students’ satisfaction. 3. Methodology The present study aims at exploring the impact of service quality on students’ satisfaction in higher education institutes of Punjab. These institutions include both public and private sector institutes. All these institutes are charted and regulated by the higher education commission of Pakistan (HEC). These educational institutions have similar functionality and code of conduct governed by the higher education commission of Pakistan. All these institutes have  proper departmentalization and appropriate curriculum approved by the HEC. The similarity of working condition, educational courses and work climate thus constitutes the homogenous  population and by selecting the sample of students of these institutes can be considered as the sample representing the entire population of the country. For the purpose of the study, a convenience sampling technique was used to record the responses of 240 students at a response rate of 96%.  Journal of Management Research   ISSN 1941-899X 200X, Vol. 2, No. 2: E10 www.macrothink.org/jmr 5 3.1.    Definition of Variables 3.1.1. Student Satisfaction It explains the satisfaction and contentment of students from the service quality of their institution. It is measured by the questionnaire developed by Atheeyaman (1997). All the responses are recorded on a five point likert type scale. 3.1.2. Perceived service quality The perceived service quality is defined as the quality of a service that a student experience’s after getting exposed of a certain service offered by his institute. It is comprised of five dimensions i.e. 3.1.3. Tangible services The services which can be tangible like decoration of the furniture, cafeteria decoration, class layout etc. 3.1.4. Reliability services The services of the administration, examination department to make the results reliable and correct address etc. 3.1.5. Assurance services The services provided by the institution for which they assured the students about their academic. 3.1.6. Empathy services The services of the institution which empathized the students are called the empathy services. Empathy reflects how much the university feels and cares the needs of students. 3.1.7. Responsiveness It is defined as the immediate and efficient responsiveness of an institution’s system. It explains how much the system is responsive towards the quality service providing. Perceived Quality is measured by the questionnaire developed by Parasuraman et al. (1990) in which some items are taken from the questionnaire developed by LeBlanc and Nguyen (1997). All the responses are recorded on a five point likert type scale 4. Analysis and results The analysis of the data was done with the help of SPSS and AMOS. The overall reliability of the data i.e. Cronbach’s Alpha was recorded at 0.89. The descriptive analysis shows the demographic characteristics of respondents with their institutes. There were no missing values in response. Overall males are 50 percent, while 50 percent are females. About 55  percent students are in graduation and 45 percent are in masters & above. About 30.8 percent students are 15-20 years old, 53.8 percent are between 21-25 years old, 10 percent are  between 25-30 years old and 5.4 percent are more than 30 years old and less than 36 years
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