A Model of Service Quality in The Education Service

Introduction

Every organization, be it a company, a corporate division, a university, a college, or an academic department, has both a stated mission, which is written for public consumption, and a true mission, which dictates how the organization allocates resources and rewards performance. The two missions may be the same or different. The working definition of "quality" within an organization is determined primarily by the organization’s true mission. The concept of the true mission is needed to explain the principal differences between the industrial and academic cultures that are related to quality management.

In industry, the true mission is relatively clear, and quality is relatively straightforward to define. In education, the true mission is complex and subject to endless debate, and quality is therefore almost impossible to define in an operationally useful manner.

Whatever the corporate mission statement may say, the true mission of a for-profit company is to maximize profits. Setting aside altruistic objectives that may motivate individual company personnel, such goals as zero defects, customer satisfaction, staff empowerment, etc., are to the corporate mind simply means to the end of maximizing profits. The goal of raising quality is therefore consistent with the mission of maximizing profits. In education as in industry, the stated mission and the true mission may not coincide. The similarity ends there, however. The goals that constitute the educational mission of a university are extremely hard to pin down to everyone’s satisfaction. Is the goal to produce graduates who simply know a lot more than they did when they enrolled as freshmen? What is it that we want them to know? Do we wish to equip the students with the skills they will need to succeed as professionals? What skills would those be? Are they the same for all professions? Are we trying to produce "educated citizens"? Whose definition of "educated" will we adopt? Is it our purpose to promote certain values in our graduates? Which ones?

In industry, quality is relatively easy to assess. In education, even if a definition of quality can be formulated and agreed upon, devising a meaningful assessment process is a monumental task.

The Indian higher education industry is facing turbulent times. Lowering of entry barriers, the advent of distance education, international educational institutes ready to enter the country, the huge growth in student numbers, internationalisation of education, the need to reduce dependence on government funding and increasing competitive pressures have prompted a need to focus on quality and customer service and the rise of a consumer culture. However, quality in education services is complex in its facets (as mentioned above), largely undefined and unresearched. This paper endeavours to fill the gap in the service quality literature by reporting insights obtained in an extensive exploratory investigation of quality in the education sector. The research attempts to rectify the situation with the research question “how do you define service quality in the education sector?”, and the research objective to explore the dimensions of service quality in the context of the Indian Higher education industry. As higher educational institutions (HEI) tussle for competitive advantage and high service quality, the evaluation of educational service quality is essential to provide motivation for and to give feedback on the effectiveness of educational plans and implementation.

A set of service quality parameters, drawn from students’ (defined as customers’) perceptions about service quality as well as the service quality literature have been drawn up. These parameters have been used in the context of four large educational institutes in India to identify the underlying dimensions of service quality. The research involves the use of factors concerning student services that are queried and surveyed using the SERVQUAL methodology. Finally, the paper has drawn upon the findings of the service quality dimensions to contend the initiatives that educational institutes can take to improve the delivery of customer- perceived quality and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. The research suggests that customers distinguish four major dimensions of service quality, namely, the quality and skills of the teaching staff, the facilities offered the attitude and convenience. Identifying the underlying dimensions of service

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Bouman & Van der Wiele. assurance and empathy and used these as the basis for their service quality measurement instrument. research suggests that culture may play a fundamental role in determining how consumers perceive what constitutes service quality. The result was the development of the SERVQUAL instrument. An important advantage of the SERVQUAL instrument is that it has been proven valid and reliable across a large range of service contexts. 1992. but the best known determinants emanate from Parasuraman and colleagues from the USA. The Dimensions Of Service Quality Underpinning our understanding of service quality is an array of factors or determinants. Instead. Teas. namely. 2005. The contention that service quality consists of five basic dimensions (Parasuraman et al. 1988. Lee. However. Gagliano & Hathcote. reliability. while the SERVQUAL instrument has been widely used. 1996) and that items used to measure service quality should reflect the specific service setting under investigation.. 1988) is according to some researchers questionable and they have suggested that SERVQUAL’s dimensions are contextual and not universally applicable (Ekinci & Riley.. SERVQUAL (Parasuraman et al. Moreover. 1993. the number and composition of the service quality dimensions are probably dependant on the service setting (Brown et al. 1990). 3 . based on the gap model. tangibles. 1994. 2004. it has been subjected to certain criticisms as well. 1990)..quality is the first step in the definition and provision of quality service and instilling of a customer-service culture. who found five dimensions of service quality. 2007).. 1992. Brown et al. 1993. Carman. Zeithaml et al. 1999. 1990). It has been suggested that for some services the SERVQUAL instrument needs considerable adaptation (Dabholkar et al. 1993. The central idea in this model is that service quality is a function of the difference scores or gaps between expectations and perceptions.. Cronin & Taylor. Kang and James. A number of researchers have provided lists of quality determinants. responsiveness. Fowdar.. and that it is necessary in this regard to modify some of the items and add or delete items as required (Carman.

and economic development should be expected to have an influence on the differences between developed and developing countries in terms of the service quality dimensions. and communication are related to cultural dimensions of individualism/collectivism and power distance. (Rust and Oliver. education. the specific industry and the specific service setting. Moreover. citing that economic and socio-cultural differences will affect customer perceptions of service quality. credibility. infrastructure. there are still issues and varying opinions about the dimensionality of service quality and the universality of the five dimensions. B. and service marketers need to be sensitive to the variation of scripts that consumers will bring into a service encounter in different cultures. access and the understanding of the customer are related to factors of economic development such as affluence. communication infrastructure. C and D. In other words. responses were gathered from students of four major higher education institutes in India. and technology. The actual names of the institutes have been changed in the study. Specifically. 1994). competition. technology. The authors also suggest that service quality dimensions such as reliability. Malhotra et al. Due to cultural and environmental differences. The study was conducted in West 4 . consumers of services in different countries may have different perceptions of what service quality is. METHODOLOGY For the study reported herein. Hence there is still a need for fundamental research into the dimensionality of service quality bearing in mind the contextual circumstances. All these institutes rank among the excellent academic institutes in India. environmental factors like culture. (1994) identify other influences on services quality dimensions such as the level of economic development. because “service encounters are first and foremost social encounters”. the authors note that service quality dimensions of courtesy. These are of interest to and significant for users of SERVQUAL and for all those who wish to understand better the concept of service quality.According to McCallum and Harrison. rules and expectations related to service encounters should vary considerably across culture. (1985). education. for purposes of confidentiality and renamed as Institutes A.

5 . anchored by strongly disagree and strongly agree at the endpoints 1 and 7. Every other customer was asked to complete the questionnaire. 1996. again on a seven-point (strongly disagree to strongly agree) scale. respectively. 1992) and from a pilot study of customers. Hence the instrument used in this study for measuring customerperceived service quality also employed a 7-point scale. usable questionnaires). The list of items generated is shown in Table I and consisted of 34 items. In the perception section the statements required the respondent to indicate the extent to which the particular institute possesses the characteristic described.. 19% for the Institute B. A total of 2800 customers were contacted (700 customers were contacted in each of the four institutes). Demographic profiles of the samples from each institute were reviewed by the administration in the respective institutes and considered to be representative of their customer bases. 1997. Cronin and Taylor. Items for measuring customer-perceived service quality were adopted from the service quality and service marketing literature (Levesque & McDougall. Yavas et al. Insert Table I here. 1988. The institute specific response rates were 20 for the Institute A. Parasuraman et al. and consisted of two sections: an expectation section and a perception section. a state in the eastern region of India with a large and diverse population... Parasuraman et al. The questionnaire for the measurement of customer-perceived service quality followed the basic structure of the SERVQUAL instrument as developed by Parasuraman et al. 1991. An inventory of service quality items was identified. and 20% for Institute D. 21% for Institute C. that is. and the overall response rate was 20% (560 completed. The expectation section required the respondent to indicate on a seven-point (strongly disagree to strongly agree) scale the extent to which the ideal service-providing organisation (in this case a institute) possesses the characteristic desired in each statement. The original SERVQUAL instrument had 7 categories. 1991). Questionnaires were self-administered to students (herein referred to as customers) within the campuses of the institutes. (1991).Bengal. it employed a 7-point scale (Parasuraman et al..

YOUR INSTITUTE has placement services (Placements). However. YOUR INSTITUTE has modern. The items “employees of your institute are always willing to help you” and “employees of your institute are never too busy to respond to your requests” were not included because 98% of the total number of customers surveyed in the pilot study felt that their essence was captured in other questions used in the scale.Nineteen items from the original SERVQUAL list (Table I ) were dropped. These items were: 1. difficult to comprehend to respondents. and hence the former item was dropped. this item should be discarded on conceptual grounds. or felt by the respondents to be not relevant to higher educational institutes in a pilot study done with 70 customers from Institute A. The item “your institute insists on error-free records”. twelve items were added. because according to Parasuraman et al. all the other SERVQUAL items which were left out. (Infrastructure) 2. (1994). “Employees at your institute are neat appearing” was not included because the term “neat” meant different things to different people in the pilot study. For instance. as customers generally have limited or no access to an organisation’s records and hence they may experience difficulty in assessing company performance on this item. up-to-date infrastructure (classrooms. 6 . captured the same aspect of service quality as “when your institute promises to do something by a certain time. and two SERVQUAL items related to knowledge and infrastructure were rephrased since these were felt by the respondents in the pilot study to be very important for assessing the service quality of educational institutes. Moreover. 96% had problems understanding the items “your institute has your best interests at heart” Again 97% of the total number of customers surveyed in the pilot study felt that the item “your institute provides its services at the time it promises to do so”. 60 customers from Institute B. 55 customers from Institute C and 60 customers from Institute D. it does so”. Of the total number of customers surveyed in the pilot study. were felt by the respondents to be not relevant to higher educational institutes. because they were either vague. repetitive. was not included. Again the item “your institute gives you individual attention” was not used because 95% of the total number of customers surveyed in the pilot study felt that it essentially captured the same aspect of service quality as “your institute has employees who give you personal attention”. labs).

Reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) for the modified SERVQUAL scale was tested for each of the four institutes and for the entire sample. 11. 9.3.9024 0. YOUR INSTITUTE has a well-equipped and up–to-date library (Library) 4. Teachers in YOUR INSTITUTE are knowledgeable (Knowledge). 7. YOUR INSTITUTE arranges for high quality visiting faculty/guest lectures (Visiting faculty). 12. Teachers in YOUR INSTITUTE have high research productivity (Research). 15 items were arrived at to measure service quality of the HEI in this study and this instrument has been referred to as the modified service quality (SERVQUAL) scale (Table II). YOUR INSTITUTE has teachers who can inculcate interest in the subject among students (Inculcate interest). (Canteens) 12. YOUR INSTITUTE offers a wide variety of relevant courses (Courses).8746 0.YOUR INSTITUTE has hygienic canteens. Insert Table II here. 6.9278 7 . YOUR INSTITUTE has teachers with high qualifications (Qualifications).9237 0. YOUR INSTITUTE has hygienic hostels (Hostel) In total. 5. Feedback from the professors and administrators in each of the participating institutes who reviewed the questionnaire confirmed that the modified SERVQUAL had face validity. The questionnaire was administered in a pilot study to 50 customers from each of the four institutes. YOUR INSTITUTE arranges for recreational facilities (Extracurriculars). 10. The results were: Institute Institute A Institute B Institute C Institute D Total pilot study sample Cronbach’s alpha 0. 8.9121 0.

A 4-factor solution was obtained. and was followed by a Varimax rotation to examine the dimensionality of the items. Factor analysis was conducted with the SERVQUAL scores for the entire set of 560 customers. 70% cumulative variance was chosen as the satisfactory level.It can thus be seen that the reliability figures are very high. SERVQUAL scores were generated. A SERVQUAL score is obtained by subtracting the expectation score from the perception score for each SERVQUAL item. 7. 4 and 13 combine to define the fourth factor. RESULTS AND FINDINGS Factor Analysis Of The Servqual Scores For each customer. attitude and convenience. which can be labelled as a facilities factor. Factor analysis of the SERVQUAL scores for the SERVQUAL items was conducted. The number of factors extracted was determined so that the cumulative percentage of variance extracted by the factors reaches a satisfactory level. 11.70 (Nunnally. which can be labelled as the teaching factor. 8 and 10 combine to define the second factor. Variables 9. teaching. The third factor is correlated highly with variables 1 and 2 and can be termed as an attitude factor. 6. 12. 14 and 15 combine to define the first factor. The factor loading matrix is presented in Table III. all above the recommended lower limit of 0. facilities. and the 15 items could be reconfigured into four dimensions. The factors identified from the factor analysis thus are: Factor 1 Teaching Inculcate interest Qualifications Knowledge Factor 2 Facilities Physical facilities Infrastructure Placements 8 Factor 3 Attitude Responsiveness Dependability Factor 4 Convenience Canteens Hostels Recreationals . In this study. Variables 3 . namely. Variables 5. 1978). which can be labelled as convenience.

1978).9273 for the entire sample. The reliability coefficient (Cronbach’s alpha). modern classrooms and libraries equipped with the latest instructional equipments. teaching.9162 Institute B 0. Finally. The third factor. explained 11. The Cronbach’s alphas for all the four dimensions were well above the recommended lower limit of 0. accounted for the largest proportion.32 % of the total explained variance.73% of the variance.71% of the variance and was constructed by five scale items.9261 Overall 0. facilities. explained 10. explained 21. that is. and encompassed three items related to the convenience and hygiene of the institutes’ hostels and canteens and recreational facilities provided. namely. (Table III). was 0. 26. This factor was defined by five scale items and was primarily related to the knowledge and skills of the teaching staff providing the service. The second factor. which were primarily associated with responsiveness and dependability. Factor analysis was also conducted for each of the institute samples individually and the same factor solution was obtained across the institutes. convenience. attitude.9095 Institute D 0. of the modified SERVQUAL scale used in this study. Insert Table III here.8848 Institute C 0. the fourth factor.70 (Nunnally. which were primarily associated with the concept of providing facilities to customers. the visual appeal of the HEI’s physical facilities.77% of the variance and was constructed by two scale items.Factor 1 Teaching Research Visiting faculty Factor 2 Facilities Library Courses Factor 3 Attitude Factor 4 Convenience The first factor. The institute wise reliability coefficients (Cronbach’s alpha) for the modified SERVQUAL scale used in this study were as follows: Institutes Cronbach’s alpha Institute A 0. (Table III). the availability of a variety of relevant courses and provision of placement services .9273 9 .

8657 0.9274 0. At the dimension level.9432 0.8841 Facilities Attitude Convenience 0. the Cronbach’s alphas per institute were as follows: Institutes Dimensions Teaching Facilities Attitude Convenience 0.9245 0. 1978).8410 0. DISCUSSION The dimensions of service quality 10 .8998 0.9639 0.70 (Nunnally. all above the recommended lower limit of 0. Cronbach’s alphas were also computed to assess the reliability of the four dimensions (teaching. At the dimension level.9395 0. the aggregate Cronbach’s alphas were: Teaching Dimensions Cronbach’s alpha 0.70 (Nunnally.9543 0.9124 0.8996 0. 1978). 1978).9541 0.8745 0.9563 0. facilities.70 (Nunnally.9342 0.8964 0.9537 Institute A Institute B Institute C Institute D Thus it can be seen that the Cronbach’s alphas for all the four dimensions across all the four institutes were well above the recommended lower limit of 0.8408 It can be seen that the reliability figures are very high. attitude and convenience).It can be seen that the reliability figures are very high.9272 0. all above the recommended lower limit of 0.

For some time. The need to improve the quality of education has started to have some relevance in HEI and it increasingly needs to be competitive to make the difference from its competitors through the quality of education and the reputation of the institution. in this case the student. but it has only recently begun to be identified as a critical success factor in the higher education sector. Currently winning a greater number of quality students is the biggest concern of HEI. student perceptions of quality and their satisfaction level have become very important in order to attract and retain them. and as a result the quality of services given by the institution is an important factor of selection. This differentiation can be achieved by the implementation of a new model of management centred on the quality of services supplied to customers. 11 . In competitive environments. The study set out to expand understanding of how consumers evaluate service quality in the context of Higher Educational Institutes (HEI) and identify the dimensions of customer-perceived service quality in the context of the Indian higher education sector. However valid and credible instruments did not exist. excellence in customer service has been vigorously pursued as a strategic business objective by organisations in the public and private sectors. For many years marketing has been ignored by HEI. HEI have generally been outside the concepts and the theories of management. As HEI are increasingly integrated in a competitive market they are facing challenges due to the evaluation of the results of the services of education and training that they offer. a factor of strategic relevance for the organization. in order to offer guidelines for the strategic planning of the organization. When competitiveness exists quality becomes a very important factor in the decision of the customer. Having access to this information. the organization can carry out its mission with more efficiency This study identified the dimensions of service quality that are important for the students. having therefore to be measured and analyzed.

The factor teaching included the kind of teaching that enthuses and inculcates interest in the subjects. may explain the emergence of service quality dimensions different from the ones identified by Parasuraman et al. is the wide variety of empirical factor structures obtained. attitude. which customers felt they understood and were relevant to the HEI context and which were not repetitive. specific to the HEI sector. These modifications and the fact that the modified SERVQUAL scale was used in a context (the Indian higher education sector) entirely different from the one in which Parasuraman et al. A recurring feature in the empirical studies. (1991). All the four dimensions have their own unique service quality characteristics inherent in the Indian higher education environment.The current research reinforces the fact that service quality is a complex and multidimensional construct. research productivity and qualifications of the teachers. facilities. These four dimensions of customer-perceived service quality are: Teaching. The factor facilities was associated with the provision of modern classrooms and libraries equipped with the latest instructional equipments. a modified SERVQUAL scale was used and only those items were included from the original SERVQUAL scale. the availability of a variety of relevant courses and provision of placement services . The analysis of the 15 items comprising the various aspects of service quality in this study suggests that customers distinguish four dimensions of service quality in the case of the higher education industry in India. which have analysed and used SERVQUAL. Teaching and facilities were found to be the two most important service quality factors. Contextual circumstances do have a bearing on the number of dimensions of SERVQUAL. which consistently differ from the five-factor structure reported by Parasuraman et al (1991). (1991) had conducted their studies. In this study. along with the knowledge. It also included the provision for visiting faculties to lend their expertise in specific academic subjects so as to understand multiple perspectives and increase competencies of students who work in an increasingly interdependent world. in the context of the Indian higher education sector. These vary primarily in the number of interpretable factors. Moreover thirteen additional items were included. the visual appeal of the HEI’s physical facilities. and convenience. 12 .

emerging from a seller’s market era. and service to the community and society at large. canteens and the provision of recreational facilities. It is easy to see how institutes with a seller’s market mentality would be weak in these areas. and the ability of the HEI and its employees to inspire trust and confidence and which was primarily associated with responsiveness and dependability. In the modern university. The Modified SERVQUAL Scale 13 . The true mission of the university might involve maximizing research expenditures. and regional and national reputations of the undergraduate and graduate teaching programs. because students' perception of service quality is influenced by a broad range of services provided by the university. which dealt with the provision of competent and caring service. the institution’s ranking in International newspapers. Furthermore. service to business (e. there were two more factors unearthed . Prioritizing them to arrive at a realistic teaching quality improvement program is a challenge unlike anything encountered in industry. which included items related to the hygiene of the institutes’ hostels. "productivity" (rate of production of graduates divided by faculty size). the others being research. Their organizational culture is just not attuned to looking at things from the customer’s perspective.. tuition revenues.Moreover. In this regard. this research shows that the focus should be turning to the whole student experience. Many of these goals are unrelated and most of them compete for limited resources. individualised service quality.g. teaching is just one of several important functions. Agreeing on educational goals is only the first step toward formulating an academic mission. but in reality offers excellent prospects for those institutes willing to change and adapt. This situation may be depressing at first glance. they are not structured to deliver excellent. The fourth factor was convenience. through faculty consulting activities).attitude. however.

if any. sex. in the service-quality perceptions of customers segmented on the basis of demographic characteristics like age. medium and high) on the basis of their SERVQUAL scores. Again. HEI can use the modified SERVQUAL instrument to track its quality of service against that of its leading competitor. These segments can then be analysed on the basis of their demographic. easy-to-use set of items tapping into customerperceived service quality. income and so forth. the items relating to course variety revealed the largest gap. psychographic or other profiles or on the basis of the relative importance of the four dimensions in influencing service-quality perceptions. say a HEI found that a large number of the respondents falling in the high perceived-quality group fit its prime target market.One outcome of this study is a parsimonious. Again. Armed with this data. For instance. the HEI can get additional insights by tracking and comparing customers’ expectations and perceptions at regular intervals of time. based on demographic criteria. a HEI may also benefit by examining the differences. Say the HEI also found that facilities was the most important quality dimension for this group and based on the perception-expectation gap scores for items in this dimension. The expectations section need not be repeated for each HEI – only a set of perception statements will be needed for each HEI whose service is to be compared. The modified SERVQUAL scale used in this study can serve as a diagnostic tool that will allow HEI administrators to determine service areas that are weak and in need of attention and the data generated by it can be used in a variety of ways. the modified SERVQUAL instrument can be used to categorise the HEI customers into various perceived-quality segments (say low. For instance. and thus determine how the gap between expectations and perceptions is changing with time and also 14 . the HEI administration will be able to understand better what needs to be done in order to improve the customerperceived service quality for its target market. The modified SERVQUAL scale used in this study should also enable HEI administrators to conduct periodic checks to measure service improvement.

Administrators should conduct regular service quality surveys. the curriculum structure and any other educational reforms will be largely irrelevant in the long run. for each dimension or across all dimensions. If they do not. the quality of a teaching program is primarily related to the quality of the instruction that takes place in individual classrooms. As many administrators have recently discovered. by examining these gap scores a HEI can assess not only its overall quality of service as perceived by the customers but also the key dimensions and items within those dimensions on which it needs to focus its quality-improvement efforts. inseparability. variability and perishability). because of the specific characteristics of services (intangibility. expectations and requests. Thus. Most faculties have enough members who are sufficiently dedicated to teaching to participate voluntarily in pilot studies of new instructional programs. Customers evaluate the quality of services based on their expectations against their actual experience. Professors and other staff should also be included in the service quality surveys. by adopting and developing the SERVQUAL methodology for their organizations. evaluating quality in the HEI sector is subjective.whether the gap is changing due to changing expectations. however. Finally. with minimal expectation of tangible reward. since they interact with the customers and might have a good understanding of customers’ needs. Toward an effective institutional teaching improvement program All said and done. attracting and keeping enough faculty volunteers for a full-scale implementation of a new teaching program can be 15 . For any new curricula and instructional methods to have the desired impact. data obtained through the modified SERVQUAL instrument can be used to compute servicequality gap scores at various levels: for each statement pair. changing perceptions or both. a reasonable percentage of the faculty must participate willingly and competently in both their delivery and their assessment. Moreover.

2. the faculty defines the instructional methods most likely to lead to the acquisition of the desired attributes. Administrators who wish to make major improvements in the quality of their teaching programs should therefore provide incentives for faculty members to participate in the new programs. With the assistance of experts in pedagogy and learning assessment. 3. 16 . and estimates the resources (including provisions for faculty development) needed to implement both the instruction and the assessment. Here. particularly if their participation is an add-on to all their other responsibilities and does not count toward promotion and rewards. They should also commit to faculty members who carry the principal burden of teaching and assessment in the new programs that they will have the same opportunities for promotion. 1. 5. The administration commits to provide both the necessary resources to initiate and sustain the program and appropriate incentives for faculty members to participate. 6. selects the methods needed to assess the effectiveness of the instruction. then. such as salary supplements. and merit raises as their more research-oriented colleagues enjoy. travel or equipment funds. is a view of steps that can be considered to improve the instructional program at a university. The faculty implements the plan. attempts to implement a large-scale teaching improvement program are likely to consume an immense amount of time and effort and accomplish relatively little in the end. Faculty members and administrators define the knowledge. Each step requires agreement of the faculty members who must implement it and the administrators who must provide the necessary resources. skills. The faculty and administration formulate a detailed implementation plan. The faculty and administration assess the results and modify the plan as necessary to move closer to the desired outcomes. and values that the graduates of the program should have. 4. or release from service responsibilities.difficult or impossible. Unless this commitment is made and honored.

facilities. proposed in this study. In future research. 17 . An administration wishing to improve the quality of its instructional program should first make the necessary commitment to provide the necessary resources and incentives for faculty participation. it is recognized that an HEI has other customer groups which might be satisfied. there may be certain aspects that may have been omitted or that may become relevant as new trends in education evolve. Future research can be conducted. students’ parents and internal customers to name a few).. Although in this study it was attempted to cover all aspects of service quality in the HEI sector. customers may reveal new aspects of service quality in higher education that are important to them. and implement those with which they feel most comfortable. customers may reveal new aspects of service quality in higher education that are important to them. This research addresses an issue that has important implications for services marketing theory and practice. are changing. attitude and convenience. IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH The findings of this study provide a foundation upon which to pursue further research. however. such as say teaching. finally comes down to this. Instructors who wish to improve teaching in a course should consult the literature. This study has concentrated on the student customer only. see which instructional methods have been shown to work. Continued refinement of the scale for measuring service quality in higher education.Recommendations for improving teaching quality. employers. Another area for future research is the perception of service quality from other customer groups (e.g. government. and these would have to be incorporated in the scale so as to further explore the concept of service quality in the higher education arena. With time. is certainly possible based on further research and trends in higher education. in terms of definition as well as new services that are being offered by the institutes. taking into account how the various dimensions of service quality.

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A.L. YOUR INSTITUTE’s physical facilities are visually appealing. & Shemwell. 1-19. pp. it does so. YOUR INSTITUTE’s employees are neat – appearing. pp. Thousand Oaks.. 18-34. International Journal Of Institute Marketing. 28. V. R. November 6. R... Inc.. “Service Quality In The Instituteing Sector In An Emerging Economy: A Consumer Survey”. Journal of Marketing. Volume 15/6. 217-223.L. (1993). And Consumers’ Perceptions Of Quality”. No. 26. (1997). & Berry. “Expectations. K. Volume 57. Table I Original List Of Items For Measuring Customer-Perceived Service Quality Statements SERVQUAL Dimensions Tangibles YOUR INSTITUTE has modern-looking equipment. K. are visually appealing at YOUR INSTITUTE. K. Materials associated with the service. 25. D. Delivering Quality Service: Balancing Customer Perceptions And Expectations. (1997). D. such as pamphlets and statements. Performance Evaluation. L. Services Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus Across the Firm. Ltd. Z. Parasuraman. Oliver eds. The Wall Street Journal. L. New Delhi. R. V. Rust and R. (2003). 29.T. Rust. T. a division of Macmillan. Oliver (1994). Bilgin.. The Free Press. J. A. M. Instituteing Reforms In India: Managing Change.23. Teas. Wessel. SERVQUAL Items 20 . Yavas. Subramanian. Zeithaml. U. in Service Quality: New Directions in Theory and Practice. Zeithaml.. & Velayudham. and R. 24. Service Quality: Insights and Managerial Implications from the Frontier. A. 27. Tata Mc-Graw Hill Publishing Co. New York. (1989). McGraw-Hill. (1990). New York. J. “Sure Ways To Annoy Customers”. & Bitner. Reliability When YOUR INSTITUTE promises to do something by a certain time. CA: Sage Publications. 4. Second Edition.

21 . YOUR INSTITUTE provides its services at the time it promises to do so. YOUR INSTITUTE has hygienic canteens. YOUR INSTITUTE arranges for recreational facilities (Extracurriculars). Teachers in YOUR INSTITUTE are knowledgeable (Knowledge). Employees of YOUR INSTITUTE are never too busy to respond to your requests. You feel safe in your transactions with YOUR INSTITUTE. YOUR INSTITUTE has a well-equipped and up –to-date library (Library) YOUR INSTITUTE has teachers who can inculcate interest in the subject among students (Inculcate interest). YOUR INSTITUTE has operating hours convenient to all its customers. up-to-date infrastructure (classrooms. YOUR INSTITUTE insists on error-free records. Assurance The behaviour of employees of YOUR INSTITUTE instills confidence in customers. (Canteens) YOUR INSTITUTE has hygienic hostels (Hostel) YOUR INSTITUTE has modern. YOUR INSTITUTE performs the service right the first time. (Infrastructure) YOUR INSTITUTE has placement services (Placements). YOUR INSTITUTE has your best interests at heart. Employees of YOUR INSTITUTE give you prompt service. YOUR INSTITUTE shows a sincere interest in solving it. YOUR INSTITUTE has teachers with high qualifications (Qualifications). labs). YOUR INSTITUTE has employees who give you personal attention. Empathy YOUR INSTITUTE gives you individual attention. Teachers in YOUR INSTITUTE have high research productivity (Research). Employees of YOUR INSTITUTE are consistently courteous with you. Responsiveness Employees of YOUR INSTITUTE tell you exactly when services will be performed. YOUR INSTITUTE offers a wide variety of relevant courses (Courses). Employees of YOUR INSTITUTE are always willing to help you. Employees of YOUR INSTITUTE understand your specific needs.When you have a problem. Items Specific to Educational Institutes. Employees of YOUR INSTITUTE have the knowledge to answer your questions. YOUR INSTITUTE arranges for high quality visiting faculty/guest lectures (Visiting faculty).

Variable Description V1. YOUR INSTITUTE has modern. V2. V11. V13. (Canteens) V4.Teachers in YOUR INSTITUTE have high research productivity (Research). YOUR INSTITUTE has hygienic hostels (Hostel) V5. (Infrastructure) V7. YOUR INSTITUTE has hygienic canteens. V15.Teachers in YOUR INSTITUTE are knowledgeable (Knowledge). YOUR INSTITUTE has teachers with high qualifications (Qualifications). V6. it does so (Dependability) V3. When you have a problem.Table II The items of the modified service quality (SERVQUAL) scale V stands for variable. 22 . V14. V10. YOUR INSTITUTE shows a sincere interest in solving it (Responsiveness). YOUR INSTITUTE has teachers who can inculcate interest in the subject among students (Inculcate interest). V12.YOUR INSTITUTE arranges for recreational facilities (Extracurriculars). YOUR INSTITUTE offers a wide variety of relevant courses (Courses). YOUR INSTITUTE has placement services (Placements). YOUR INSTITUTE’s physical facilities are visually appealing (Physical facilities). labs). Your Institute has a well-equipped and up-to-date library (Library) V9. up-to-date infrastructure (classrooms. YOUR INSTITUTE arranges for high quality visiting faculty/guest lectures (Visiting faculty). V8. When YOUR INSTITUTE promises to do something by a certain time.

14 21.109 0.447 0.8 4 0.69 26.896E-02 0.295 Factors 3 0.421 -5.473 8.140 0.535 0.654 0.174 0.255 0.125 0.187 0.111 0.04 Factors 3 0.148 4 0.218E8.465 0.763 2 0.717 6.136 0.8410 0. V6 (Infrastructure) V7 (Placements) V8 (library) V9 (Inculcate interest) V10 (Courses) V11 (Qualifications) V12 (Knowledge) V13 (Extracurriculars) V14 (Research) V15 (Visiting faculty) 0.483 0.679 0.818E0.120 0.84 10.8658 0.71 48.193 0.822 0.227 0.298 0.209 0.8409 7.Table III Rotated Components Factor Analysis for Service Quality Descriptions 1 Eigenvalues Percentage of variance explained Cumulative percentage of variance explained Reliabilities (Cronbach’s alpha) 0.614 0.250 0.246 0.32 2 1.183 0.201 0.661 0.92 11.391 0.222 23 .306 0.32 26.707E-02 0.108 0.194 0.131E-02 0.635 0.211 0.757 0.790 0.917 0.54 Rotated Component Matrix Descriptions 1 V1 (Responsiveness) V2 (Dependability) V3 (Canteens) V4 (Hostels) V5 (Physical facilities).672 0.782E-02 0.281 0.607 7.197 0.301 0.73 70.357E-02 0.867 4.332 0.836 0.294 -4.8841 0.404 0.116 0.77 59.

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