Student perceptions of service quality in higher education, particularly of the elements not directly involved with content and delivery of course units, are researched using a performance‐only adaptation of the SERVQUAL research instrument. A principal components factor analysis performed on data collected from a sample of 333 undergraduate business and management students suggests that students’ perceived service quality has three dimensions: “requisite elements”, which are essential to enable students to fulfil their study obligations; “acceptable elements”, which are desirable but not essential to students; and “functional elements”, which are of a practical or utilitarian nature. A comparison of perceptions of service quality between first and final year students suggests that perceptions of service quality elements change over a period of study, with “acceptable elements” having increasing importance. Implications for course management teams are discussed, and suggestions for further research are made.
Quality Assurance in Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2000
Keywords: Service quality; Higher education; Consumer attitudes
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