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THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY

SOUTHERN LUZON STATE UNIVERSITY

Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Republic of the Philippines

STUDENTS’ SATISFACTION ON THE SERVICE QUALITY PROVIDED BY
COLLEGES OF THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY:
A PROPOSED FORMATION PROGRAM

A Dissertation Outline
the Faculty of the Graduate School
Southern Luzon State University, Lucban, Quezon, Philippines
in Collaboration with
Thai Nguyen University, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management


By
NGUYEN TAT THANG - (VICTOR)
March, 2014
APPROVAL SHEET


ii
In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management
this research study entitled “Students’ Satisfaction on the Service Quality Provided by Colleges of
Thai Nguyen University: A Proposed Formation Program” has been submited by Nguyen Tat Thang Victor, and is hereby recommended for oral examination.

PROF. Dr. WALBERTO A. MACARAAN
Research Adviser
Approved by the Oral Examination Committee, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management
offered by Southern Luzon State University, Republic of the Philippines in collaboration with

Thai

Nguyen University, Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

(NAME OF PROFESSOR)

(NAME OF PROFESSOR)

Member

Member

(NAME OF PROFESSOR)

(NAME OF PROFESSOR)

Member

Member

(NAME OF PROFESSOR)


Chairman

Accepted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management
offered by Southern Luzon State University, Republic of the Philippines in collaboration with Thai
Nguyen University, Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

APOLONIA AESPINOSA, Ph.D.
Dean, Graduate School

WALBERTO A. MACARAAN, Ed .D
Vice President, Academic Affairs

Date___________________

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT


iii
Sincerest and profound gratitude and appreciation are extended to all the persons who
in their own special ways have made this dissertation a reality.
The author is most grateful to:
Hon. Dr. Cecilia Gascon, President of Southern Luzon State University (SLSU),
Republic of the Philippines, for her invaluable contribution in establishment of the Doctor of
Philosophy in Educational Management program in Thai Nguyen University (TNU);
Prof. Dr. Dang Kim Vui, President of Thai Nguyen University, the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam for his incomparable contribution and support to the Doctor of
Philosophy in Educational Management program in Cooperation with the Southern Luzon
State University, the Socialist Republic of the Philippines;
Dr. Walberto A. Macaraan, Vice president, Academic Affairs for his support to the
tie – up program between SLSU and TNU;
Dr. Apolonia A. Espinosa, Dean, Graduate school for his support to the tie – up
program between SLSU and TNU;
Prof. Dr. Tran Van Dien, Rector of Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and
Forestry for his invaluable assistance in the establishment of the Doctor of Philosophy in
Educational Management program in cooperation with the Southern Luzon State University,
Philippines;
Dr. Nguyen Tuan Anh, Former Director of the International Training Center, Thai
Nguyen University for his precious and wholehearted assistance and encouragements in the
establishment of the Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management program in
cooperation with the Southern Luzon State University, Philippines;
Dr. Nguyen The Hung, Director of the International Training Center, Thai Nguyen
University for his precious, invaluable assistance and his sincere encouragement and support
to the students of this institution.
The Panel of Examiners, Dr. …………………..


iv
Prof. ………………………………….. for their invaluable comments, suggestions
and recommendations to enhance the thesis manuscript of the author of this study;
Dr. Ricaryl Catherine P. Cruz for her adviser, dedication, enduring patience and
concern, guidance, sincere hopes and encouragement for the researcher to finish the
manuscript;
Dr. Teresita V. De La Cruz and Dr. Apolonia.A.Espinosa professors of method of
research and advanced statistics for their patience and support;
The visiting Professors including Dr.Arivalan, Dr. Balakrishnan, Dr. Walberto A.
Macaraan, Dr. Lee Kar Ling, Dr. W.Johnson and other professors for their lectures;
The Learning Resource Center of Thai Nguyen University, for the valuable sources of
books and references;
The authors and researchers of books and unpublished graduate theses and
dissertations that served as reliable source of data and information;
The college members of Thai Nguyen University, for the approval of the researcher’s
request to conduct the study;
The student respondents of the study, for their active involvement, without their
cooperation, the result of this dissertation could not have been possible;
His loving classmates and colleagues, for the endless support and friendship which
inspire the researcher to put his best in finishing the study;
His wife, daughter, son, parents and siblings, for their encouragement, financial, moral
and spiritual supports for continuously believing that he can finish the task to the best of his
abilities.
To you all, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
NGUYEN TAT THANG (VICTOR)


v
TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE ..........................................................................................................
APPROVAL SHEET ..............................................................................................
ACKNOWLEDGMENT ........................................................................................
TABLE OF CONTENTS .......................................................................................
LIST OF TABLES ..................................................................................................
LIST OF FIGURES ................................................................................................
LIST OF APPENDICES ........................................................................................
ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................

page
i
ii
iii
v
vi
vii
xii
viii

Chapter I. INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study ...............................................................................
Objectives of the Study ................................................................................
Null Hypothesis ............................................................................................
Significance of the Study ..............................................................................
Scope and Limitations of the Study ..............................................................
Definition of Terms ......................................................................................

1
4
7
8
9
10
11

Chapter II. LITERATURE REVIEW AND RESEARCH PARADIGM
Service Quality Measurement ......................................................................
Service Quality in Higher Education ...........................................................
Student Satisfaction .....................................................................................
The Relationship of the Service Quality and Student Satisfaction ..............
Research Paradigm .......................................................................................

14
14
17
22
27
28

Chapter III. METHODOLOGY
Time and Locale of the Study ......................................................................
Research Design ...........................................................................................
Population and Sampling ..............................................................................
Instrumentation .............................................................................................
Validation of the Instrument ........................................................................
Data Gathering Procedures ...........................................................................
Statistical Treatment .....................................................................................

29
29
30
31
34
35
35
36

Chapter IV. RESULTS AND DISSCUSSIONS ...................................................

38

Chapter
V.
SUMMARY,
FINDINGS,
CONCLUSIONS
AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
Summary .......................................................................................................
Findings ........................................................................................................
Conclusions ..................................................................................................
Recommendations ........................................................................................

75

BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………………………………....................
APPENDICES……………………………………………………….................….
RESEARCHER’S PROFILE ...............................................................................

81
95
106

75
78
79
79


vi
LIST OF TABLES
Table

Page

1

Distribution of the Sample Size According to Population .........................

32

2

Distribution of the Respondent by colleges ...............................................

33

3

Percent distribution of the respondents about Gender, Age, Origin,
Family income ............................................................................................

39

4

Factor Analysis of Perceived Service Quality ............................................

40

5

Result for the EDUSERVQUAL Items for the Students’ ..........................

46

6.1

Correlation of the Responses on Intructional Service with Profile of
Respondents ...............................................................................................

52

Correlation of the Responses on Auxiliary Service with Profile of
Respondents ...............................................................................................

53

Correlation of the Responses on Ancillary Service with Profile of
Respondents ...............................................................................................

54

Correlation of the Responses on Learning Support Facilities with Profile
of Respondents ..........................................................................................

55

6.2

6.3

6.4

6.5

Correlation of the Responses on Tangible with Profile of Respondents ...

6.6

Correlation of the Responses on Responsiveness with Profile of
Respondents ...............................................................................................

57

6.7

Correlation of the Responses on Reliability with Profile of Respondents..

58

6.8

Correlation of the Responses on Assurance with Profile of Respondents..

59

6.9

Correlation of the Responses on Empathy with Profile of Respondents....

60

7

The Proposed Formation Program .............................................................

65

56


vii
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure

Page

1

Research Paradigm ………………………….........…………………..

28

2

Location of Respondents College in Thai Nguyen Province .…...……

30

LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix

Page

A

Communication letters…………………………………………………....

95

B

Evaluation of the questionnaire for content validation ..............................

96

C

Questionnaire on students’ satisfaction on the service quality provided
by colleges of Thai nguyen University ......................................................

97

Researcher’s Profile ...................................................................................

106

D


viii
Title

:

STUDENTS’ SATISFACTION ON THE SERVICE QUALITY
PROVIDED BY COLLEGES OF THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY:
A PROPOSED FORMATION PROGRAM

Researcher:

:

NGUYEN TAT THANG – (VICTOR)

Degree

:

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management

Name/ Address of Southern Luzon State University
the Institution
Graduate School
Lucban, Quezon
Date Completed : March, 2014
Adviser

:

DR. WALBERTO A. MACARAAN

ABSTRACT
This study examines the level of students’ satisfaction on the service quality provided
by colleges of Thai Nguyen University. The exploration and comparison of possible
differences in terms of level of students’ satisfaction across gender, origin, monthly family
income and the college inrolled. Data were collected based on EDUSERVQUAL tool that has
been modified from SERVQUAL instrument. The EDUSERVQUAL tool consists of nine
dimensions namely: Instructional services, auxiliary services, ancillary services, learning
support facilities, tangibles, responsiveness, reliability, assurance, and empathy. The finding
of this study reveals that service quality is a vital factor that determines the level of student
satisfaction and showed that the following dimensions: instructional service, followed by
empathy, reliability, auxiliary service, ancillary service, and learning support facilities were
the 6 most important dimensions and had significant positive relationship with students’
satisfaction level. Furthermore, the study also find the following factors: “the wifi network
and the internet service quality”; followed by the item “soft skills are equiped for students”;
“the college’s audio visual/media center functions well”; “when you have a problem, college
shows sincere interest in solving it”; “college gives you individual attention”; “food services


ix
are available and guaranteed by food safety standards”; “book store and market are available”;
“when college promises to do something by a certain time, it does so” had significant positive
relationship with students’ satisfaction level.
In terms of respondent profile (gender, origin, monthly family income and collge
inrolled), 15 out of the 43 items (factors) in EDUSERVQUAL tool is significant correlated
with college inrolled, and 12 out of the 43 items (factors) is significant correlated with
monthly family income. The finding of this study showed that the college enrolled seems the
strongest and had significant positive relationship with EDUSERVQUAL dimensions,
followed by monthly family income. Gender and origin were less importance with the former
significantly predicting. Finally, to propose some suggestions program that could further
enhance students’ satisfaction on the service quality.
They

may

adapt

the

formation

program

proposed

by

the

researcher.


1
Chapter I
INTRODUCTION
For a long time, higher education (HE) institutions have preferred to focus on their
internal academic needs rather than to view students as their main clients. This viewpoint has
served them well as long as the demand was greater than the supply. In modern competitive
environments, service quality is more importance in the competitive formula of both
organizations and countries. Education sector is becoming services for people in which global
and local levels combine, thus a standardized offer is modified by local specificities. Service
quality has been put forward as a critical determinant of competitiveness (Lewis, 1989).
Currently, people often hear about poor client service experience than good client service one,
and negative word - of - mouth can have a devastating effect on an organization’s efforts to
attract new clients. Clients who have experienced poor service will often reveal their
experience to other people, therefore this may lead to a reduction in potential and permanent
clients. Thus, a good service quality will be more likely to attract new clients as well as to
maintain regular clients.
In colleges, students are considered as the “short-duration clients” and they are the
clients of education service. They play an active role in helping the college identify the
providers and improve the service quality. Hence, identifying the determinants of service
quality from the perception of students being considered as the primary clients is important,
and one of a primary goal of HE should be done is to develop the satisfaction of clients
(students).
Besides, during the last over two decades, measuring service quality in HE has
become increasingly important for attracting and retaining tuition-based returns (Angell et al.,
2008). Therefore, it is vital for HE institutions to actively monitor the service quality and
safeguard the interests of stakeholders through the fulfilment of their real needs and wants.
(Zeshan, 2010; Al-alak, 2009). In order to attract students, serve their needs and retain them,


2
service providers and researchers are actively involved in understanding students’
expectations and perceptions of service quality.
In the current economic climate, education field is expanding rapidly all over the
world. HE is being driven toward commercial competition by the development of global
education markets. Many HE institutions are giving serious thought to the issue of service and
performing some identifications of the service quality of education that provided to students,
as well as the assessment of students’ satisfaction. This has come about two reasons, the first
is the expansion phase in HE has ended and there will be a real competition for students. As a
result, the service quality experience in HE becomes an important factor in client’s decision
making, the buyer. The word - of - mouth recommendation plays a big role in students’
choices of HE. The second reason is the university/college’s quality assurance systems place
emphasis on the student experience as one of the assessment criteria. Because of this
importance, to examine which factors/dimensions determine students’ satisfaction are
necessary.
Besides that, universities/colleges are increasingly involved in ranking criteria or a
world class institution, and external ranking instruments include some measure of students’
satisfaction as

well as student’s attributes. University/College rankings are increasingly

disseminated with great detail about the different components of the overall score, and the
issues that frequently accompany the presentation of the overall position of an institution
often refer to the general climate on campus and to the level of students’ satisfaction.
In the context of Vietnam, Vietnam HE institutions cover undergraduate and
postgraduate studies (Vietnamese Education Law, 2012). Undergraduate studies can lead to
diploma or bachelor degrees while postgraduate studies can lead to master and doctorate
degrees. The system of Vietnam HE institution includes: Colleges, Universities and Research
institutions.


3
Thai Nguyen university (TNU), one of the leading regional university systems in
Vietnam, is strategically located in Thai Nguyen City. The university system was established
in 1994, basically a conglomeration of colleges reflecting the long tradition of existence as
HE institutions which are situated in Thai Nguyen province. They are the College of
Engineering and Technology was founded in 1965; the College of Education was founded in
1966; the College of Medicine and Pharmacy was founded in 1968; the College of
Agriculture and Forestry was founded in 1970; the College of Economics and Techniques
was founded in 1974. For over 20 years of development, TNU has been experiencing growth
in qualitative and quantitative aspects in instruction, research and technology transfer,
production, and management, among others. Hence, as it continues its journey towards the
future, it displays with dynamism its commitment toward the pursuit of excellence in this
noble undertaking. With this, TNU system has been recognized as one of the leading national
universities in Vietnam. In its development, TNU has established five other college and
faculty members. They are the College of Information and Communication Technology
founded in 2001; the College of Economic and Business Administration founded in 2004; the
College of Sciences and Humanity founded in 2008; the Faculty of Foreign Languages
founded in 2008 and the International School founded in 2011.
TNU is mandated to to pursue the following: Training high quality human resource,
conducting researches on scientific technologies and management, verifying and proposing
solutions and sustainable development policies, and contributing to the socio-economic
development of the region towards industrialization and modernization. To become a world
class university within Vietnam and the Southeast Asia in providing HE in the fields of
agriculture and forestry, teacher education, technology, economics, business administration,
medicine and pharmacy, information and communication technology, foreign languages,
among others.


4
Presently, TNU has over 3,800 full time faculty and professional researchers. The total
enrolment is 49,517 full time students on colleges, of which 44,420 at undergraduate level,
5,097 at master and doctoral level, and over 250 international students. (source: TNU
statistics, 2012).
This study focused only on the 3rd students who are studying at 109 different
disciplines of different colleges of TNU, which totally has 11,383 undergraduate students
(source: TNU statistics, 2012). The paper is divided into five chapters. Chapter one is devoted
to the study’s introduction, while chapter two is literature review and research paradigm.
Chapter three presents the research methodology, followed by chapter four where results and
discussion are outlined. The fifth chapter draws summary, findings, conclusions and
recommendations of the study.

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The important role of service industries is increasing in line with the development of
the economy in many countries (Pham Ngoc Thuy & Le Nguyen Hau, 2010). Service sector
attracts more and more attentions of real business world and research fields. There is a variety
of studies focused on the important role of service quality measurement and mornitoring in
educational institutions (Angell et al., 2008; Ham, 2003; Yeo, 2008; Al-alak and Bekhet,
2011). An outcome of this has demanded that all service encounters offered by institutions of
HE should be managed to enhance consumer perceive quality (Brochedo, 2009).
In the last two decades, Vietnam has been trying to integrate into the world. The only
way to develop and prosper for Vietnam is to be open to the world, and education is no
exception. Consequently, more and more universities have been established to answer the
demand for HE. The shift in the HE market from a suppliers’ market (where the supply is less
than the demand and the supplier dictate quality) to a customers’ market (where the demand


5
is higher than the supply and the customers dictate quality) has intensified the competition
amongst HE institutions.
Beside that, the competition for enrolled students has become more and more
challenging. In light of the varied alternatives, the students are become more and more
assertive and critical, and therefore the HE institutions have to address the increasing
dissatisfaction with the performance of HE systems by improving them (Mizikaci, 2006).
Both the students and their parents are looking for added value for their money and the HE
have to deliver quality that is compatible with the students’ expectations and needs (Smith et
al., 2007).
In order to improve the service quality, HE in many countries around the world have
created surveys to obtain students’ satisfaction. Through these surveys, they can receive
students’ information about their feedback, the teaching effectiveness, teaching facilities,
relevance of coursework, curriculum and the general learning environment of the
universities/colleges which are used to benchmark themselves against others and can be
valuable information for decision-makers about how to improve the quality of the institutions
and training programs.
However, in Vietnam there still are many barriers on the education development:
The lack of financial resources. The level of government funding for HE is small, only
0.41% of GDP in 2002 out of a total of 4.22% of GDP for all levels of education. In terms of
expenditure on higher education, Vietnam compares poorly to the rest of the region and the
rest of the world (average is 1.22%). (World Bank, 2007a). Furthermore, management is
characterized by a very high level of centralization. Ministries wield significant power over
HE and determine matters as varied and as detailed as the curriculum, student enrolment,
academic assessment, awarding of degrees, staff appointments, budget decisions,
infrastructure and facility maintenance (MOET, 2005:42; Hayden, 2005a; Ngo, 2006).


6
Meanwhile, enrolment is concentrated in a few academic disciplines due to limited provision
and the student/teacher ratio (30:1) is too high by international standards, etc.
TNU is not standing apart from this context of the country, there are still challenges
facing TNU. Currently, TNU has 10 colleges and faculties. In the process of formation and
development, TNU has recognized the importance of training missions in order to meet the
needs of society. However, during the process of implementation, the following contents
should be considered as an innovation to improve the quality, meet the satisfaction of
students. There are many factors that can affect the quality of education, such as a passive
teaching method, a shortage of teaching staff, poor teaching materials, inadequate college
infrastructure, and lack of experience in education management. Large scale of students and
larger class sizes also create challenges for teachers as well as for the management to update
and innovate modern methods of teaching, counseling, skills training and teamwork,... Lab,
library, and playground are not appropriately invested. The soft skills training as well as
practice activities have not been given due attention. The curriculum is not really suitable for
professional demanding practice. These limitations can be a major influence on student
satisfaction of services and the quality of training as well as the college's reputation.
As mention above, associate with the growth of the colleges in quality and quantity,
the improvement of service quality at colleges will satisfy the requirements of their students.
As a result, the assessment about students’ satisfaction on the service quality in HE can
provide an important contribution which may be useful for management, faculty and staff
members of TNU and other colleges in the region to continue improving the quality of
education as imposed and required by quality standards. In addition, the current study will
provide a better understanding of the students’ needs and expectation and will help implement
new programs so that purpose and missions and vision of colleges of TNU can be served.
The study of students’ satisfaction on the servive quality provided by colleges of TNU
will help provide valuable information to present and future students can assist students and


7
administrators in determining where to study and how to improve the service quality in their
colleges. The lack of student feedback survey yearly suggests that the colleges are less
concerned with responding to student needs. At colleges of TNU, an annual overall statistical
analysis of student performance and satisfaction is seldom done, and no tool was developed to
determine what student perceptions were a range of service quality provided. The main
factors can affect the level of students’ satisfaction are students’ expectation and needs on
learning and teaching, support facilities for teaching and learning such as (libraries, computer
and lab facilities), learning environment (rooms of lectures, laboratories, social space),
support facilities (health facilities, refectories, student accommodation, student services) and
external aspects of being a student (such as finance, transportation). It has become necessary
to invest in a tool that will be able to measure the total of students’ learning experience in
order to measure and maintain the service quality provision in the colleges, to attract and
sustain good students and to enhance the commitment and reputation of the colleges.
Base on the mentioned current situation, the researcher conducted a study entitled
“Students’ satisfaction on the service quality provided by colleges of Thai Nguyen University:
A proposed formation program”.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study seeks to find out the students’ satisfaction on the service quality provided
by different colleges of Thai Nguyen University.
Specifically, it is aimed to:
1. Identify the profile of the respondents in terms of the following:
1.1. Gender;
1.2. Age;
1.3. Origin;
1.4. Monthy Family Income; and


8
1.5. College Enrolled.
2. Determine the level of students satisfaction as the services quality of the Colleges in
terms of:
2.1. Instructional Services;
2.2. Auxiliary Services;
2.3. Ancillary Services; and
2.4. Learning Support Facilities.
3. Determine the level of students satisfaction on the service quality in colleges in
terms of the following dimensions:
3.1. Tangibles;
3.2. Responsiveness;
3.3. Reliability;
3.4. Assurance; and
3.5. Empathy.
4. Find out if there is significant difference on the perception of students profile of
different colleges of TNU as to the service quality.
5. Ascertain which of the service quality dimensions predict students’ satisfaction in
different colleges of TNU.
6. Propose a formation program to improve the service quality.

NULL HYPOTHESIS
H1. There is no significant difference between students’ expectations and perception
in respondent on the service quality provided by different colleges of TNU.
H2. Students’ demographic profile does not make significant difference as to the
service quality.


9
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study attempting to know the influence of students’ satisfaction on the service
quality in the context of colleges of TNU and the findings will help TNU understand
obviously about the components of their service quality affecting to satisfaction of their
students and would be beneficial to the following:
Administrators. It is hope that the study may contribute in giving a new dimention in
the administration and supervision of colleges to improve the students’ satisfactions on the
service quality. The study would provide administrators with a clear idea on how beneficial is
in improving the service quality, such as learning environment which includes good
infrastructure, instructional, auxiliary and ancillary services, learning support facilities. This
will help administrators answer the question how to improve the service quality in their
colleges. In the same manner, its position and prestige could be improved in society and make
TNU international competitive as to its services.
Teachers. The outcome of the study is a great help to teachers because it is not only
necessary to be good at theory but also have steady skill to teaching practice. Good teaching
and learning environment, good sevice quality will provide good conditions for teachers to
approach new technology, to update new and modern teaching methods in the classroom such
as group work, role playing, and open - air activities, to help students to be more creative.
The researcher hopes to contribute to a new avenue in fostering teachers by exerting
more effort and commitment in the areas of teaching and learning including both academicrelated activities like curriculum and non academic- related activities like sports, cultural, and
social activities. Through this, improving the service quality would lead to better quality of
training as the satisfaction of students.
Students. They will be benefited by this study since they are the main concerns of
educators and any wholesome environment and relationship could create positive affect on
teaching and learning process. In this way, we can increase achievements for all students,


10
enhance safe and orderly environments. Students would have knowledge, skills, attitudes and
other soft skills during their study and be able to find a stable job, ensuring their own future
life.
Parents. The study could make parents know more about the colleges where their
children are studying or will choose and enrol in the future. The trust of parents with the
college could be improved through the college’s reputation.
Government could change the education policy to meet and fit the requirements and
expectations of the learners and society.
Future Reseach
Using EDUSERVQUAL tool to investigate the perceptions and expectations held by
administrative staff, faculty, students’ families in colleges of Thai Nguyen University.
Formulating social policies, encouraging individuals and organizations to invest and
support the training process in colleges.

SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The primary intent of this study will be further to investigate the influence of the
students’ satisfaction on the service quality provided by different colleges of TNU year 2012 2013. There are 382 students used as these respondents in this study.
The study focuses on the perception of the respondents on the service quality
provided by their college. The target group of this research is the 3rd year students who are
currently studying in the 109 different disciplines at different colleges of TNU. So, students
who are studying in other levels, colleges, graduates and part - time students are beyond the
scope of this study.
Measurement of the service quality in HE is limited to use of questionnaires in
colleges of TNU. There may be other variables (factors) related to the service quality which
are not included in this study. The research is conducted exclusively in English. While this


11
will eliminate the need for translation of the survey questions, language may also be one of
the limitations.
Further study should also take serious consideration in term of accessibility of the data
collection because most of the colleges may have been very reluctant in giving good
cooperation. A serious preparation toward unexpected situation is needed therefore it is the
ability researcher to face and in control of the situation. Checklist is developed for the purpose
of the study.
The time frame of this study covers the period from February, 2013 to August, 2013.

DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the clarity and better understanding of the study, the following terminologies are
defined both conceptually and operationally.
Age refers to the effect of time on a person. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Assurance is defined as the employees’ knowledge and courtesy and the ability of the
firm and its employees to inspire trust and confidence. The university seeks to build trust and
loyalty between its employees and individual students (Parasuraman et al., 1988).
Empathy is defined as caring, individualized attention that the firm provides to its
customers. The customers need to feel understood by, and important to, firms that provide
service for them (Parasuraman et al., 1988).
Family income is generally considered a primary measure of a nation's financial
prosperity. For instance, total compensation received by all family members age 15 or older
living in the same household. Compensation may include wages, social security, child
support, pensions capital gains, and dividends. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Formation Program is a type of activity like seminar and workshop or prototype for
further uplift of the service quality of college administrators, faculty and staff. It would be the
material/program to be produced based on the result of the study to improve the service


12
quality in colleges of TNU.
Gender is the range of physical, mental, and behavioral characteristics pertaining to,
and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, the term
may refer to biological sex (i.e. the state of being male, female or intersex), sex-based social
structures (including gender roles and other social roles), or gender identity. (Wikipedia, the
free encyclopedia).
Higher Education is the stage of

learning that occurs at

universities,

academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology. HE also includes certain
college-level institutions, such as vocational schools, trade schools, and career colleges that
award academic degrees or professional certifications. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Instructional Services are the specially designed instruction and accommodations
provided by special education instructional personnel to eligible individuals. Instructional
services is dedicated to helping the underprepared prepare, the prepared advance, and the
advanced excel. (http://usu.edu/teachall/text/iep/IEPglos.htm)
Origin, the beginning of something's existence or a person's social background or
ancestry.
Quality is difined as "conforming to requirements" (Crosby,1984), "fitness for use"
(Juran, 1982), "a global judgment or attitude to the overall superiority of the service"
(Parasuraman, et al., 1988), “the extent to which the service, the service process and the
service organization can satisfy the expectations of the user” (Kasper et al.,1999).
Reliability is defined as the ability to perform the promised service dependably and
accurately, means that the organization delivers on its promises regarding delivery, service
provision, and problem resolution (Parasuraman et al., 1988).
Responsiveness is defined as willingness or readiness of employees to help customers
and to provide prompt service. This dimension emphasizes attentiveness and promptness in
dealing with customer requests, questions, complaints, and problems (Parasuraman et al.,


13
1988).
Satisfaction is a consumer’s post purchase evaluation of the overall service
experience (process and outcome). It is an affective (emotion) state of feeling reaction in
which the consume’s needs desires and expectations during the course of the service
experiences have been met or exceeded” (Hunt, 1977). Zeithaml et al. (1990) defined
satisfaction as an overall judgment, perception or attitude on the superiority of service. The
judgment is based on the discrepancy between expectations and actual experiences of
customer.
Service is defined as “The production of an essentially intangible benefit, either in its
own right or as a significant element of a tangibles product, which through some form of
exchange, satisfies an identified need.” (Palmer, 2011, p. 2)
Service Quality: The extent to which the service, the service process and the service
organization can satisfy the expectations of the user (Kasper et al., 1999).
Student Satisfaction: Student satisfaction is a short-term attitude, derived from the
evaluation of the received education service (Elloit and Healy, 2001).
Tangibles are defined as the appearance of physical evidence of service (e.g. physical
facilities, appearance of personnel, or tool or equipment used to provide service).
(Parasuraman et al., 1988).


14
Chapter II
LITERATURE REVIEW AND RESEARCH PARADIGM

This chapter presents excerpts from the literature that have been gathered and
reviewed based on its relevance with the present study. It also served as the researcher’s
basis in constructing his conceptual framework and research questionnaire. This also includes
the research paradigm.
The services literature focuses on perceived quality, which results from the
comparison of customer service expectations versus perceptions of actual performance
(Zeithaml, 2000). Service quality in educational industry is defined on the basis of students
overall evaluation on the services they received which is part of their educational experience.
This covers a variety of educational activities both inside and outside the classroom such as
classroom based activities, faculty member/student interactions, educational facilities, and
contacts with the staff of HE.
2.1. Service Quality Measurement
Service quality became a focus of management reseach through the 1980s and early
1990s. Service quality can be defined as the extent to which a service meets customers’ needs
or expectations according to his/her requirements. Measuring service quality is a complicated
and difficult task (Parasuraman et al., 1985, 1988, 1991; Carman, 1990). The service quality
construction is measured either as a gap expectation/perception of service or just as a
perceived performace alone (Hurley and Estalami, 1998). Furthermore, the service quality
dimensions are seen as the criteria to assess service quality (Parasuraman et al., 1985).
The SERVQUAL scale is a principal instrument in service marketing literature for
assessing quality (Parasuraman et al., 1988, 1991). This instrument has been widely used by
both managers (Parasuraman et al., 1991) and academics (Babakus and Boller, 1992; Carman,
1990; Crompton and MacKa 1989; Cronin and Taylor, 1992; Webster, 1989) to assess


15
customer perceptions of service quality for a variety of services (e.g. banks, credit card
companies, repair and maintenance companies,..).
The original SERVQUAL comprised of ten service dimensions which following
extensive statistical analysis in 1988 revealed significant correlations between several of the
factors as ten service factors collapsed into five (Parasuraman et al., 1988). The followings
are five well-known service quality dimensions :
1.Tangibles;
2. Responsiveness;
3. Reliability;
4. Assurance, and
5. Empathy.
Using SERVQUAL scale, researchers can measure the gap between customers’
expectations of service and their perceived service experiences.
In short, the SERVQUAL instrument based on the gap theory (Parasuraman et al.,
1985) and suggests that a consumer’s perception of service quality is a function of the
difference between one’s expectations about the performance of a general class of service
providers and one’s assessment of the actual performance of a specific firm within that class
(Cronin and Taylor, 1992). In other word, service quality involves a comparison of customer
expectations

with

customer

perceptions

of

actual

service

performance.

As above mentioned, the expectations (E) and perceptions (P) statements that represent the
five service quality dimentions. The gap for each statement is calculated as the perception
score minus the expectation score (P - E). A positive gap score implies that expectations have
been met the perception and a negative score implied that expectations have not been met the
perception. Gap score can be analysed for each individual statement and can be gathered to
give an overall gap score for each dimension (Parasuraman et al., 1988).


16
Former research also suggested that using the performance perceptions alone to
measure service quality. For instance, Joseph and Steven (1994) argued that service quality is
directly influenced only by perceptions of performance. In general, much research has agreed
that service quality is in fact the perceived quality by customers (Parasuraman, 2000). In the
same opinion, Teas (1994) also questioned the SERVQUAL and argued that there are a
number of problems concerning perceptual and operational definitions of expectation.
Perceived service quality Gronroos (1984) introduced the concept of perceived service quality
in the development of his widely cited model of service quality. Babakus and Boller (1992)
have found that service quality, as measured in the SERVQUAL scale, relies more
significantly on the perceptions score than on the expectations, while Kasper et al. (1999) saw
the disadvantage of the SERVQUAL scale as that the questionnaire is too lengthy. Kilbourne
et al. (2004:529) have argued that “the SERVQUAL has potential as a reliable measurement
instrument and the perception sub scale as a robust measure of service quality”. In the same
vein, Bennett and Barkensjo (2005:102) stated that “the SERVQUAL instrument, although
without an expectation dimension generated reasonably robust outcomes”.
A study by O’Neill et al. (2001) indicated some benefits of using the SERVQUAL
approach such as its ability to make a clear indication of how well the company performs to
meet the customer’s requirement according to the customer’s perception. Besides,
SERVQUAL also helps the company to priority customer needs, wants and expectations
based on customer’s opinion. Furthermore, SERVQUAL allows the organization to make the
standards that can meet the quality requirement issued by clients and other stakeholders.
LaBay and Comm (2003) developed a number of measures to evaluate student
expectations and perceptions concerning their tutor using a sample of undergraduate and
distance learning students. Similarly, Slade et al. (2000) adapted the SERVQUAL to assess
and compare the perceptions of service quality of undergraduate students who leave their
university before completing their studies and those who remain in the educational system.


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