Evaluating business student satisfaction in the Malaysian private educational environment
The educational environment is very dynamic and challenging with intensifying competition, as well as an increase use of public comparisons between institutions. Therefore, understanding and attempting to improve student satisfaction is becoming critical to educational institutions. In Malaysia, education is a leading industry and plays a vital role in national development. As the private education sector is growing rapidly, there is a mounting interest to use service quality improvement measures to enhance competitiveness.\ud \ud The main aim of this study is to identify and evaluate the drivers that influence business student satisfaction in the Malaysian private educational environment. Specifically, this study seeks to measure the influence that each driver has on business student satisfaction and the importance of each driver to students; identify the underlying dimensions of the satisfaction drivers that influence business student satisfaction; evaluate the influence of factors such as gender, year of study, programme of study, semester grade and nationality on the results; identify areas of service priority towards better allocation of resources; and\ud to discuss the practical implications of the results.\ud \ud A positivist approach is adopted in this study, whereby 1,200 questionnaires have been distributed to undergraduate business students at four private educational institutions in Malaysia. A total of 823 responses were found to be usable for analysis giving a response rate of 69%. This study adopted and extended a “service-product bundle” model to evaluate the satisfaction level and the importance of the specific service attributes at the educational institutions.\ud \ud Results were analysed using SPSS and quadrant analysis. The results revealed that students are satisfied and placed more importance on the physical facilities of an institution, followed by the teaching and learning drivers. Analysis of the underlying dimensions of the satisfaction drivers resulted in the adoption of a 12-factor solution after\ud conducting several trial rotations. Significant differences exist between the demographic factors and six factors. Quadrant analysis conducted showed eight out of the 12 factors require attention by the educational institutions towards better allocation of their resources.\ud \ud This study contributes to the marketing literature by providing an examination of several marketing constructs. This is an important contribution as it provides an improved\ud understanding of student satisfaction and perceptions of the factors linking to the physical facilities and facilitating goods as well as the teaching and learning issues. From the\ud professional practice contributions, this study will benefit the business schools and educational institutions in general as it provides practical information about what and how students of different levels of study; programme of study; gender; nationality; and level of academic performance consider important in their level of satisfaction and perceptions.
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