South Africa University students’ perceptions of key education service quality determinants


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Understanding higher education (HE) service quality is critical for success in a highly competitive environment, since through a better understanding of the determinants of HE service quality, HE managers and leaders could better manage HE service quality better. A survey was conducted among a purposive judgmental sample of 400 students, from two HE institution campuses in SA, to identify their perceptions of key service quality determinants (KSQDs), and the importance of the KSQDs, by using a semi-structured questionnaire. It was ascertained that students ranked KSQDs as follows: Responsiveness, Assurance, Reliability, Tangibles, and Empathy (RARTE), and in terms of their importance, the KSQDs were ranked as follows: Responsiveness, Reliability, Assurance, Empathy and Tangibles (RRAET). Higher education leadership should take note of the KSQDs and focus their resources on these in order to create an organization that is student-centric.

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    • Figure 1. Measurement model for service quality
    • Figure 2. Importance of service quality dimensions
    • Figure 3. Mean importance ratings of service quality variables
    • Figure 4. Comparing service quality importance ratings with actual ratings for each service quality dimension
    • Table 1. Reliability scores of the research constructs
    • Table 2. Convergent and discriminant validity indices
    • Table 3. Total variance explained for the service quality measurements
    • Table 4. Rotated factor matrix service quality
    • Table 5. Model fit indices for SERVPERF dimensions
    • Table 6. Correlation between service quality dimensions and measurements
    • Table 7. Service quality dimensions and demographic factors
    • Table 8. Relationship between the importance of the service quality dimension and their related measurement
    • Table 9. Actual and importance rating for each service quality dimension
    • Table 10. Cluster analysis results