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The aim of this paper is to explore the relationship between perception of service quality, student satisfaction, switching barriers on behavioural intentions among private higher education institutions (HEIs) with self-accreditation status in Malaysia.Design/methodology/approachA total of 388 valid questionnaires were collected via a self-administered questionnaire from the undergraduate students of private HEIs with self-accreditation status in Malaysia. PLS-SEM has been employed for hypotheses testing.FindingsThe results show that student perceived service quality is positively influence student satisfaction and student behavioural intentions, particularly the positive word-of-mouth (WOM). The relationship of student perceived service quality and student behavioural intentions is fully mediated by student satisfaction. However, there is no mediating effect found for the switching barriers on the relationship between student satisfaction and behavioural intentions.Research limitations/implicationsThis study's findings are only generalizable to the private HEI with self-accreditation status in Malaysia. The paper contributes to the body of knowledge in the areas of service quality, satisfaction, switching barriers and behavioural intentions. These findings provide valuable insight to the private universities management and policymakers to improve existing policies and practices in order to formulate effective strategies to attract potential new students and retain the existing students through the delivery of high-quality services.Originality/valueThis study's findings have reconfirmed that the causal relationship of perceived service quality-satisfaction-behavioural intentions model. Switching barriers has treated as the mediator which received less attention in the context of private higher education sector. Thus, this study broadens the exiting body of knowledge and advances the understanding of how switching barriers play a crucial role by influencing students' behavioural intention, particular WOM.
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 6, 2022
Keywords: Student perceived service quality; SERVQUAL; Student satisfaction; Behavioural intentions; Switching barriers; Private higher education institutions
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