Service quality in higher education - the consumer's expectations and evaluation of experience

Clewes, D., 2000. Service quality in higher education - the consumer's expectations and evaluation of experience. MPhil, Nottingham Trent University.

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This dissertation considers the service quality experience of a sample of part-time postgraduate students over a three year period of study at Nottingham Business School. The research aims to identify important aspects in students' evaluation of service quality, to consider the role played by expectations in this process and consider if the longitudinal nature of the higher education experience affects expectations and service quality evaluation. The research design is shaped by concepts in both the service quality and the educational quality literatures. In addition, the philosophical position of the researcher, that of transcendental realism, has impacted on the research design which involves interviewing ten students on multiple occasions during their two or three year period of study.

The findings of the research highlight three distinct stages in the educational service experience. Firstly the pre-course position which is centred on service expectations. Secondly the in-course experience where lecturers, module content, assignments, course organisation, student-to-student interaction and personal time are all important aspects of the experience. Finally post-course service value assessment focused on the value derived from the qualification, an expanded social network, learning, application at work and personal change. The findings also support the proposition that service quality evaluation is based on an assessment of process quality and service value and that expectations have an indirect influence on service quality evaluation through their effect on service value assessments. A contribution to knowledge is made through the integration of concepts from both the service quality and educational quality literatures and proposed models of the student service quality experience and evaluation process. Finally recommendations are made for improving service quality at Nottingham Business School, based on an assessment of the changing context of quality assurance in higher education and the empirical research presented.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Clewes, D.
Date: 2000
ISBN: 9781369317145
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 01 Oct 2020 13:45
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2023 10:20

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