A study of the Service Quality Level in the Selected Private Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia
Low, Jessica Chooi Sun (2009) A study of the Service Quality Level in the Selected Private Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)
The private higher education industry in Malaysia has been established for more than four decades with the aim to complement the public university education in response to the surplus demand for tertiary education initially. Over the years, many private higher education institutions (PHEIs) have mushroomed in the country with a total number of 547 private colleges in 2006 (Ministry of Higher Education). Although the establishment of the PHEIs was increasingly high, the service quality of these academic institutions was not research upon (Woo, 2006). The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) was established to govern these institutions stipulated by the regulations under the Private Higher Educational Institutional Act 1996. At the same time, the quality of assurance and practises by these private academic institutions were monitored by Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), a merger between National Accreditation Malaysia and Quality Assurance Division Ministry of Higher Education. As of today, despites these efforts by the Malaysian government, service quality remains a debatable issue among practitioners and academics. This study is aimed to investigate the current service quality level of these private institutions in the country. Similarly, the study also looks into if service quality leads to customer satisfaction in the private education industry. Literature suggests that students will look into the evidence of service quality of the academic institutions before deciding to enrol. In order to conduct the study, an adapted SERVQUAL questionnaire was developed from the originally SERVQUAL 22 determinants developed by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1994a). The questionnaire will provide a fundamental understanding on the service quality level of the selected PHEIs. Five selected private higher education institutions located in Klang Valley were chosen to participate in the study using the adapted SERVQUAL questionnaire that contains 46 questions. A random selection of local and international students in these selected private higher education institutions were asked to participate in the survey. These institutions are Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Taylor’s University College, Sunway University College, Monash University Malaysia Campus and Nottingham University Malaysia Campus (Business School). In the end, a total of 183 SERVQUAL questionnaires were successfully collected. The report will illustrate the factors involved in examining the service quality level in the selected PHEIs and its factor towards the low or high service quality level measured by the students and its relation to their satisfaction level as well. The results may reflect only the service quality of these selected PHEIs and not a true reflection of the industry per se. Finally, a section on the managerial implications towards the result findings is included at the end of the chapter in relation to the current scenario. There is no doubt that the PHEIs will continue to serve and develop human capital for the private sector due to its recognition by practitioners and scholars. These PHEIs will need to continue striving for improvement as its ultimate aim, besides producing the best human capital, is also their bottom line. In order to sustain, it will require these academic institutions to further examine their service quality level internally which is seen as one of the most important factors affecting customer’s purchase decision.
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