Purpose – Measuring service quality in higher education is increasingly important for attracting and retaining tuition‐based revenues. Nonetheless, whilst undergraduates have received substantial academic exposure, postgraduate‐based research has been scant. Consequently, the objectives of this paper are threefold: first, to identify the service factors used by postgraduates in their quality evaluations. Second, to analyse the appropriateness of importance‐performance analysis (IPA) in the measurement of service quality and, final, to provide a working example of IPA's application in a UK‐based university. Design/methodology/approach – Convergent interviews were used to elicit attributes of service that were deemed important by taught postgraduate students. These findings were then tested using an online survey. Exploratory factor analysis was used to group the service attributes into latent “service factors”. Each service factor was then tested for service quality using Martilla and James's IPA technique. Findings – About 20 service attributes were educed from the qualitative stage. From these, four service factors emerged; being, academic, leisure, industry links and cost. Using IPA in a UK university, the findings suggest that the “academic” and “industry links” aspects of service quality are the most critical to postgraduates. The paper's conclusions suggest that IPA is an appropriate tool for measuring service quality in postgraduate education. Practical implications – Through the application of the IPA framework presented in this research, practitioners can successfully identify areas of service priority and thus allocate appropriate resources to encourage continuous service improvement. Originality/value – This research provides a valuable insight into the service quality needs of the UK postgraduate segment and also a potential conceptual framework for policy makers to use when evaluating their service delivery.
Quality Assurance in Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 11, 2008
Keywords: Customer services quality; Service quality assurance; Postgraduates; Higher education; United Kingdom
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera