Creative Education
2012. Vol.3, No.4, 430-438
Published Online August 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Students’ Opinions of Service Quality in the Field of
Higher Education
Janardhana Gundla Palli, Rajasekhar Mamilla
Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India
Email: janardhanaphd@gmail
Received May 11th, 2012; revised June 13th, 2012; accepted June 30th, 2012
This study attempts to examine the relationship between service quality dimensions and the level of stu-
dent’s satisfaction with the quality of service provided in terms of reliability, assurance, tangibility, em-
pathy and responsiveness. In public as well as in private sector the quality of education is an important
factor that is considered for attracting and retaining the students who want to get higher education.
Self-administered questionnaire was used in this study to collect the related data to establish the relation-
ship between service quality and students satisfaction in higher education institutions. The sample con-
sisted of 65 Arts students, 20 Science students and 35 Management students. Among them 62 are male
and 58, female. The results show that students are satisfied with services in terms of their reliability, as-
surance, tangibility, and empathy but not much satisfied with responsiveness. The study revealed that the
respondents who had studied self supporting course were more satisfied than the respondents who had
studied different courses. In the overall satisfaction, the female respondents were more satisfied with ser-
vice quality attributes of S.V. University than male respondents. Recommendations are made and guide-
lines for future research are also provided.
Keywords: Higher Education; Service Quality Dimensions; Students Satisfaction; Other Stakeholders
The educated and skilled citizens play a vital role in today’s
competitive globalized scenario. The higher education system
of India is witnessing dramatic changes with the opening of a
number of private universities and colleges. The universities
must bring about changes in order to optimize the efficiency
and effectiveness of all internal operations and of all interac-
tions with main stakeholders in order to provide good quality
education in a fast changing society, (Mircea & Andreescu,
2010). NAAC is taken as an agency that seeks an overview of
all higher educational institutions in order to address the prob-
lems of higher education. Established on 16th September, 1994
under section 12 (ccc) of the UGC Act of 1956, National As-
sessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is entrusted with
the task of performance, evaluation, assessment and accredita-
tion of universities and colleges in the country, if they come
into existence with the enactment of the National Accreditation
Regulatory Authority for Higher Education Institutions Bill,
2010. APQN (Asia Pacific Quality Network) was started in
January 2003 as a regional network in association with IN-
QAAHE to serve the needs of quality assurance agencies across
the region with a mission to enhance the quality of higher edu-
cation in the Asia and Pacific region through strengthening the
work of quality assurance agencies and extending the coopera-
tion between them.
Education means bringing out the ideas of universal validity
which are latent in every human being—Socrates. Education is
the creation of a sound mind in a sound body—Aristotle.
According to the 2011 census, the total literacy rate in India
is 74.04 percent. The female literacy rate is 65.46 percent and
male literacy rate is 82.14 percent. GAATS considers education
as one of the 12 tradable services. It came into effect in 1995
and is being negotiated under the auspices of the World Trade
Organization (WTO). In our current situation with the begin-
ning of the era of globalization and information technology
many things have changed either in the area of social life, or
education. In this new phenomenon the objectives of higher
education can no longer be simply to learn but must also in-
clude the following.
The university system should address the changing needs of
the present time.
Education must not be a conservative and restrictive sys-
It must be a system of planned selection of technologies
that address changing needs of society.
Service Quality and Students’ Satisfaction
The terms, satisfaction and quality, are used interchangeably.
Service quality is judgment of customers/clients regarding
overall performance of a service of the organization and its
services. Primarily, service quality focuses on how to meet the
customers’ expectations. Because expectations are dynamic,
evaluations may also shift over time, from person to person and
from culture to culture. The essence is, service quality is a
measure of how the delivery service level matches customer’s
expectations and customer’s expectation is somehow interre-
lated with customer’s satisfaction (Kang et al., 2002). The two
concepts are fundamentally different in terms of their underly-
ing causes and outcomes. Satisfaction is generally viewed as a
broader concept, whereas service quality focuses specifically on
dimensions of service. Based on this view, perceived service
quality is a component of students’ opinions.
Currently, higher educational institutes are more concerned
about the service quality to improve their educational standard.
A university is one of the best places for higher education
where students get lots of opportunities to develop their career
skills, personal growth and unlocking of personal potential.
Service quality is a critical element of customer perceptions. In
the case of educational services, quality will be the dominant
element in customers’ evaluations. The students judge the qual-
ity of services based on their perceptions of the outcome quality,
interaction quality, and physical environment quality. The di-
mensions of service quality have been identified through the
pioneering research of Parasuraman, Valarie Zeithaml and
Leonard Berry. The five dimensions are reliability, assurance,
responsiveness, empathy, and tangibility.
A conceptual framework explaining the service quality links
to five dimensions, student’s perception attributes and customer
satisfaction is shown in Figure 1 below.
Review of Literature
According to Zeithaml (1988) satisfaction is the resultant
outcome of an institutions’ administrative as well as educa-
tional system’s coherent performance. The students will be
more satisfied and motivated to complete their studies if the
institution provides an environment which facilitates learning
i.e. the institution contains proper infrastructure for educational
utility created according to certain well established parameters
for promoting academic development.
According to Wachtel, (1998) the students’ rate their course
instructor’s performance and his methodology of teaching as
the prime indicators in their educational development and suc-
cessful completion of their studies because the higher the intel-
lectual ability of the instructor the better will be the students’
evaluation (Edstrom, 2008) and, consequently, the more will be
the reliability of the teaching staff.
Crawford and Shutler, (1999) they examine service quality as
one of the key elements for a higher education institute to
achieve success in the competitive market. However, service
quality can be poor in higher education due to weak students
(poor input), lack of focus in teaching system (poor delivery
services), lack of attention paid to performance standards and
measurement, unmotivated staff (poor internal evaluation), and
neglect of students’ skills. To overcome these problems higher
education institutes’ management and staff should be commit-
ted to continuous quality improvement in their quality services
(academic and administration). All academic and administration
members must understand that campus processes need constant
review to improve services to customers. They need to believe
Responsiveness Personal
Figure 1.
Sources: service marketing V. A. Zeithaml and Mary Jo Binter.
that the work of community members is vital to customer satis-
faction, and get feedback, positive or negative, from the cus-
tomers (students) for further improvement in higher education
services (Bryan, 1996; cited on Ali & Zairi, 2005).
Sproule found (2000), teachers’ ability, excellence, coordina-
tion and reasonability greatly influence students’ class per-
formance. The students’ are greatly influenced by the educa-
tional activities their teacher coordinates for them. Shevlin,
Banyard, Davies and Griffith (2000).
According to Alridge and Rowley (2001), when students’
perceive the institutions’ quality and standardized learning en-
vironment facilitated intellectual progress and that appropriate
facilities of learning and infrastructure, are provided, their in-
terest in their organization will explicitly be retained.
Palacio, Menses and Perez (2002), believe that satisfaction
actually covers issues of students’ perception and experiences
during the college years. While most student satisfaction stud-
ies focus on the perspective of customer, researcher is facing a
problem of creating a standard definition for student satisfac-
tion thus providing a need of customer satisfaction theory to be
selected and modified so that it can explain the meaning of
student satisfaction (Hom, 2002).
Sawyer and Thompson (2003), inclusion of all students of
the university programs, in the context of the present study are
popular alternative to generate important insights into antece-
dents and dimensions of service quality in a higher education
context. Using a single university to study students’ attitudes
generate valuable insights, which can be used as empirical hy-
potheses for representative follow-up studies (Dolnicar 2004).
Navarro et al. (2005) mentioned that students evaluate the
quality of organization on the basis of tangibility (teachers),
reliability and responsiveness (methods of teaching) and man-
agement of the institution and these factors have direct influ-
ence on the level of students’ satisfaction (opinions).
Mahiah et al. (2006) suggest that tangibility, assurance, em-
pathy, and responsiveness can increase customer satisfaction
towards services rendered by human resource department.
Spooreen et al. (2007) posited a view that the organizational
harmony, teachers’ intellectual ability, professional develop-
ment, transparency in students’ evaluation, feedback and train-
ing are the important features that mentally develop the stu-
According to Hasan et al. (2008) for quality assurance an in-
stitution must train its staff members in a way that may create a
sense of facilitation by means of coordination, cooperation,
compassion and empathy (Jacoby & Chestnut, 1978).
Dalton & Denson (2009) found that students’ level of satis-
faction increases by working with those course instructors and
lecturers who properly handle the assignments, projects, exams
and facilitate students’ logical reasoning and aptitude develop-
Alves & Raposo (2010), have found that positive perceptions
of service quality have a significant influence on student satis-
faction and thus a satisfied student would attract more students
through word-of-mouth communications. The students can be
motivated or inspired from both academic performance as well
as the administrative efficiency of their institution.
Shekarchizadeh (2011), feels that mostly, higher education
institutions seek to provide high quality services in their educa-
tional curricula and administrative processes. Therefore, the
importance of service quality makes its measurement and its
subsequent management an issue of utmost importance.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 431
Objective of the Study
This study has three specific objectives. Specifically, the
study will solicit the opinions and feelings of students regarding
service quality provided by the university.
1) To determine the students’ satisfaction (opinions) towards
the facilities provided by the S.V. University; 2) To analyze the
relationship between service quality dimensions attributes of
Sri Venkateswara University and students opinions; 3) To eva-
luate the impact of service quality dimensions on the overall
students’ opinions in the higher education scenario of S.V.
Significance of the Study
There are changes taking place worldwide and the educa-
tional institutions today face fresh responsibilities and chal-
lenges to prepare students for the future. This study will deter-
mine the students’ opinions with regard to service quality pro-
vided by the higher education institutions. Like every service
oriented organization, a university to has its customers’. It
seeks to satisfy its customers, namely its students, by offering
courses that help the student, to realize his dream of choosing a
career that he likes most.
But the students as a customer of the university, evaluates the
performance of the university, in terms of the facilities it offers.
These facilities may be tangible as well as intangible.
Methodology of the Study
The present study aims at exploring the impact of service
quality on students’ opinions in higher education institution.
The primary as well as secondary data were used in the present
study. A close ended questionnaire has two sections. Section: A
contained demographics (gender, age group, course of study,
income of family, marital status and academic year). B consists
of 20 variables in which respondents are expected to state their
level of feelings regarding each variable. Questionnaires were
administered to a total of 140 respondents of higher education
of various departments of S.V. University, out of which 120
respondents were taken. The sample consisted of Arts 65, Sci-
ence 20, and Management 35. Among them are 62 male, and 58,
female. Eighty six (71.7%) students were below 23 years old.
Thirty three (38.3%) were between 24 and 26 years old and 1
(.8%) was more than 26 years old. This survey was conducted
from 2011 to 2012. All the respondents’ (opinions) are recorded
on a model and measured by using a 5-point Likert scale.
Model of Research Design
To study the students’ opinions the model was developed.
Figure 2 provides the conceptual framework to understand the
relationship between a university’s vision and the extent to
which a student gets satisfaction from the facilities provided by
his university. The students’ opinions with regard to the ser-
vices offered by the university will be influenced by a number
of factors. This evaluation again is of two types-external
evaluation factors (the government educational policy, the job
opportunities, cultural, social economic and political) and in-
ternal evaluation factors (university’s visions, faculty working
in the campus, kind of courses offered, competent of adminis-
trators, and faculty capable of teaching). Both external and
internal factors are considered to be service quality dimension
The conceptual model
Internal factors
External factors
Service quality
Figure 2.
Sources author: A conceptual framework explaining the service quality
interlinks to students opinions paradigm in the university.
attributes. All these attributes are interlinked.
Hypotheses of Study
From the literature the study provides the following hy-
H1: There is no relationship between the selected service
quality dimensions and the overall satisfaction of students (stu-
dents’ opinions).
H2: There is no difference in the overall satisfaction of stu-
dents (students’ opinions) in terms of service quality dimen-
sions and demographical characteristics, such as gender, age,
occupation of the parent, and total monthly income of family.
H3: There is no difference in the overall satisfaction of stu-
dents (students’ opinions) in terms of course of study, future
plan and self supporting courses.
Results: Discussion and Analysis
The demographic characteristics of the respondents are
shown in Table 1. The gender distribution of the respondent
groups was uneven, with 51.7 percent being male respondents
and 48.3 percent female respondents. The age group of the
majority of the respondents was below 23 (71.7 percent).
Nearly 38.3 percent belong to the 24 to 26 age group. The
above 26 years age group constituted .8 percent of the total
respondents. The majority of the parents of the respondents are
agriculturists (52.5 percent). Among the parents of the respon-
dents 28.3 percent are business men and 11.7 percent are em-
ployed. The remaining 7.5 percent are professionals. With re-
gard to respondents’ family monthly income, 30 Percent earn
less than Rs. 10,000 a month. Another 30 percent earn between
Rs. 10,000 and 20,000. Approximately 25 percent of the re-
spondents earn between Rs. 20,000 and 30,000. Nearly 9.2
percent of the respondents earn between Rs. 30, 000 and 40,000
a month while only 5.8 percent earn more than Rs. 40,000 a
month. Total respondents are 120. Among them 105 respon-
dents (87.5 percent) are bachelors and only 15 respondents
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Table 1.
Demographic and behavioral characteristics of the sample respondents
(N = 120).
Sl. No Variable Frequency Percent
1 Gender
A Male 62 51.7
B Female 58 48.3
2. Age (in Yrs)
A Below 23 Yrs 86 71.7
B 24 - 26 Yrs 33 38.3
C Above 26 Yrs 1 .8
3 Occupation
A Professionals 9 7.5
B Business 34 28.3
C Employed 14 11.7
D Agriculturist 63 52.5
4 Monthly income
A >Rs. 10000 36 30.0
B Rs. 10,000 - 20,000 36 30.0
C Rs. 20,000 - 30,000 30 25.0
D Rs. 30,000 - 40,000 11 9.2
E <Rs. 40,000 7 5.8
5 Marital status
A Single 105 87.5
B Married 15 12.5
6 Type of the family
A Joint family 55 45.8
B Nuclear family 65 54.2
7 Size of the family
A Up to 3 members 27 22.5
B 3 to 5 members 58 48.3
C Above 5 members 35 29.2
8 No. of earning members in the family
A One 62 51.6
B Two 47 39.2
C Three & above 11 9.2
9 Course of the study
A Arts 65 54.2
B Science 20 16.7
C Management 35 29.2
10 Course running self supporting
A Yes 75 62.5
B No 45 37.5
11 Residential location
A Rural 81 67.5
B Semi-urban 23 19.2
C Urban 16 13.3
12 Future plan
A To study further 29 24.2
B To do job 76 63.3
C To marry 9 7.5
D Other 6 5.0
Source: Primary data.
(12.5 percent) are married. Of the total respondents, 55, or 45.8
percent belong to joint family. Nearly 65 respondents or 54.2
percent belong to nuclear families. Of the total respondents 62
or 51.6 percent belong to families with only one earning mem-
ber while 47 respondents or 39.2 percent, belong to families
having two earning members. Nearly 11 respondents, or 9.2
percent, belong to families having three or more earning mem-
bers. With regard to educational background of respondents, 65
respondents opted for arts groups, 20 for science groups and 35,
for management groups. Nearly 75 respondents (62.5 percent)
opted for self supporting courses while 45 respondents (37.5
percent) were given free seats based on merit. The former have
to pay a separate fee for joining the course but the latter do not
have to pay any fee. Of the total respondents, 81 or 67.5 percent
belong to rural areas and 39 respondents or 32.5 percent belong
to urban areas. With regard to future plans of the respondents,
29 respondents (24.2 percent) stated that they plan to study
further. The majority of the respondents, that is, 76 or 63.3
percent, stated that they plan to take up a job. Nine respondents
(9) said that they planned to get married. Only 6 respondents
belong to the “others” category.
Expectation-Perception Analysis
Table 2 shows the overall ratings of Students’ expectations
and perception of S.V. University Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh,
and a descriptive summary (using mean and standard deviation)
of the level of students’ opinions regarding some attributes of
service quality dimensions. The average level of expectation
regarding various facilities offered students and the average
perception of these facilities were calculated for the overall
Cultural and recreational facilities, Quality of books, internet
facilities, Cooks possess enough knowledge of cooking, Dining
facilities are adequate, Quality equipment in the lab, High qual-
ity food and water are supplied, Library staff is polite and
(High perception, high expectation)
“Basic infrastructure in the class room, Provision of Xerox
facilities, and Sports equipments, training to sportsmen and
women, the method of issuing books is effective.
(Low expectation, high perception)
“Hostel staff is courteous and polite, Health care facilities,
Problems of power-cuts and safety, Sports officials take care of
students’ legal facilities”.
(Higher than average on perception, but below average on
“Regular class works, Audio—visual equipments, Competent
lab assistant, are rated.
(Below average for both perception and expectation)
Student Opinions and Overall Level of Satisfaction with the
Service Quality Dimensions.
Respondents were also questioned about their overall level of
satisfaction (opinions) with the quality of S.V. University ser-
vice. The results were summarized in Table 3. The research
findings show that 35.8 per cent of the respondents indicated
that they agree, followed by 28.3 per cent who strongly agree,
11.7 who are neutral in their opinions and 19.2 per cent who
disagree. The mean value of respondent’s overall perceived
level of satisfaction was 3.63, which tended toward the high
end of the satisfaction scale. This suggests that the S.V. Uni-
versity provides students with a satisfactory experience.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 433
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Table 2.
Differences results of paired t-test between expectations and perception of service quality dimension attributes.
Service quality dimension Expectation Perception
Sl. No
Attributes Mean S.D Mean S.D
Mean differences t-value
1 Quality of books 3.96 .81 3.82 .92 .14 2.340*
2 Internet facilities 4.09 .89 3.96 .83 .13 2.112*
3 Cultural and recreational facilities 4.26 .84 4.14 .76 .12 2.609*
4 Cooks possess enough knowledge of cooking 4.23 .85 4.10 .85 .13 2.252*
5 Dining facilities are adequate 3.95 1.05 3.80 1.03 .15 2.401*
6 Library staff is polite and helpful 3.77 .91 3.63 .83 .14 2.067*
7 Training to sportsmen and women 3.85 .95 3.65 .97 .20 3.362*
8 High quality food and water are supplied 4.07 .87 3.92 .80 .15 3.191*
9 Quality equipment in the lab 3.48 .96 3.33 .96 .15 3.699*
10 Hostel staff is courteous and polite 3.34 .95 3.22 1.08 .12 1.201
11 Health care facilities 4.13 .91 4.02 .76 .11 1.699
12 The method of issuing books is effective 3.71 .87 3.65 .91 .07 .503
13 Sports officials take care of students’ 3.53 .95 3.49 1.03 .03 1.398
14 Regular class works 3.68 .92 3.59 .99 .09 1.201
15 Problems of power-cuts and safety 3.65 1.05 3.62 .91 .03 .398
16 Competent lab assistant 3.34 .95 3.22 1.08 .12 1.76
17 Basic facilities in the class room 3.74 .97 3.86 .78 .12 1.609
18 Audio—visual equipments 3.22 .94 3.35 1.10 .13 3.162*
19 Provision of Xerox facilities 3.83 .93 3.86 .80 .03 .466
20 Legal facilities 3.73 .95 3.77 1.08 .04 1.07
Source: Primary data.
Table 3.
Student’s overall level of opinions regarding S.V. University service quality dimensions (N = 120).
Variable SA A N DA SDA Mean Scores Mean Ranks
Reliability 34 43 14 23 6 436 3.63 (1.223) 2
Assurance 32 44 23 12 9 438 3.65 (1.193) 1
Tangibility 42 31 12 17 18 422 3.52 (1.467) 3
Empathy 17 55 26 14 8 419 3.49 (1.085) 4
Responsiveness 18 43 27 16 16 391 3.26 (1.254) 5
Note: SA: Strongly agree; A: Agree; N: Neither agree nor disagree; DA: Disagree; SDA: Strongly disagree.
Table 3 shows the students’ overall level of satisfaction with
the service quality facilities provided in S.V. University. These
facilities were ranked according to the mean values assigned to
each facility. Rank one (1) indicates the highest level of satis-
faction with the facilities offered. The variable, “assurance”
was ranked first. This shows that students have more positive
opinions regarding assurance than regarding others. The ranks
given to others similarly indicate the level of opinions of stu-
dents. This ranking suggests that students form least opinions
with “responsiveness” because its rank is five (5).
The 20 service quality attributes mentioned in Table 2 are
again used for factor analysis of results of the perception of
students in Table 4. In this Table 4, four major factors emerge,
namely, reliability assurance, tangibility and empathy. Factor
analysis shows the variance in the data and explains the reason
for variance. It also shows which of these 20 attributes is con-
tained by each of the 4 factors. The correlation between these
four factors and overall student satisfaction is presented in Ta-
ble 5. Correlation analysis reveals the kind of correlation that
exists between the student’s satisfaction and the four factors.
Correlation analysis shows how these factors are related to each
Table 4.
Factor analysis of results of the perception of students attributes in the S.V. University (N = 120).
Factor Loading
Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4
Factor1: Reliability
Basic facilities in the class room .582 .011 .088 .170 .375
Audio-visual equipments .555 .125 .012 .326 .430
Quality equipment in the lab .511 .340 .091 .071 .391
Competent lab assistant .505 .087 .191 .199 .338
Regular class works .473 .089 .207 .191 .312
Problems of power-cuts and safety .403 .336 .028 .199 .316
Internet facilities .329 .285 .140 .027 .210
Factor 2: Assurance
Hostel staff is courteous and polite .042 .686 .053 .090 .483
Cooks possess enough knowledge of cooking .031 .630 .051 .101 .410
High quality food and water are supplied .123 .474 .432 .237 .483
Dining facilities are adequate .378 .467 .099 .039 .372
Health care facilities .014 .409 .271 .018 .241
Cultural and recreational facilities .309 .408 .327 .301 .459
Factor 3: Tangibility
Quality of books .074 .027 .756 .097 .587
Provision of Xerox facilities .284 .094 .535 .225 .427
Library staff is polite and helpful .177 .068 .514 .268 .372
The method of issuing books is effective .150 .217 .490 .142 .330
Factor 4: Empathy
Sports officials take care of students’ sports requirements .082 .042 .086 .721 .535
Legal factors .207 .072 .209 .551 .395
Training to sportsmen and women .345 .327 .065 .442 .426
Eigen value 3.491 1.585 1.419 1.398
Variance (%) 17.454 7.923 7.096 6.992
Cumulative variance (%) 17.454 25.377 32.473 39.465
Reliability alpha (%) (0.350) 57.0 59.0 54.1 40.7
Number of items (Total = 20) 7 6 4 3
Note: Extraction method-Principal COMPONENT Analysis; Rotation method-Varimax with Kaiser normalization; KMO (Kaiser-meyer-olkim measure of sampling ade-
quacy) = 0.652; Bartlett’s test of sphericity: p = 0.000 (x2 = 367.269, df = 190); Hotelling’s T-Squared Test = 41.407, F = 1.850, df1 =19 df2 = 101, P = 0.027*.
Table 5.
Correlation between overall students’ satisfaction and four factors.
Factor 1
Factor 2
Factor 3
Factor 4
Students Correlation .177* .210* .102@ .019@
Sig. (2-tailed) .043 .021 .265 .833
Overall Students’ Opinions
N 120 120 120 120
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 435
Testing of Hypotheses
H1: There is no relationship between the selected service
quality dimensions and the overall satisfaction of students (stu-
dents’ opinions).
Factor Analysis: underlying students’ perceptions of service
quality dimension attributes variances.
The principal components factor method was used to gener-
ate the initial solution. The eigen values suggested that a four-
factor solution explained 39.465 per cent of the overall variance
after the rotation. The factors with eigen values greater than or
equal to 1.0 and attributes with factor loadings greater than 0.1
were reported. From the results of the factor analysis the four
factors identified are: reliability, assurance, tangibility and em-
The overall significance of the correlation matrix was 0.000,
with a Bartlett test of sphericity value of 367.269. The statisti-
cal probability and the test indicated that there was a significant
correlation between the variables, and the use of factor analysis
was appropriate. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin overall measure of
sampling adequacy was 0.652 which was meritorious (Hair,
Anderson, and Black 1999). From the varimax-rotated factor
matrix, four factors with 20 variables were defined by the
original 20 variables that loaded most heavily on them (loading
To test the reliability and internal consistency of each factor,
the Cronbach’s alpha of each factor was determined. The re-
sults showed that the alpha coefficients ranged from 0.407 to
0.570 for the four factors. The results were considered more
than reliable, since 0.50 is the minimum value for accepting the
reliability test (Nunnally, 1967). The four factors underlying
Students’ perceptions of service quality dimension attributes in
S.V. University, Tirupati, were as follows.
Reliability (Factor 1) contained 7 attributes and explained
17.454 per cent of the variance in the data, with an eigen value
of 3.491 and a reliability of 57.0 per cent. The attributes associ-
ated with this factor dealt with the required service items, such
as “Basic infrastructure in the class room,” “Audio-visual equip-
ments,” Quality equipment in the lab,” “Competent lab assis-
tant,” “Regular class works,” “Problems of power-cuts and safety,”
and “internet facilities”.
Assurance (Factor 2) accounted for 7.923 per cent of the
variance, with an eigen value of 1.585 and a reliability of 59.0
per cent. As compared to the factor1 reliability factor 2 assur-
ance is greater. It shows stronger views compared to other fac-
tors. This factor was loaded with 6 attributes such as “Hostel
staff is courteous and polite”, “Cooks possess enough knowl-
edge of cooking”, “High quality food and water are supplied”,
“Dining facilities are adequate”, “health care facilities” and
“Cultural and recreational facilities”.
Tangibility (Factor 3) was loaded with 4 attributes. This fac-
tor accounted for 7.096 percent of the variance, with an eigen
value of 1.419 and a reliability of 54.1 percent. These four at-
tributes are “Quality of books”, “Provision of Xerox facilities”,
“Library staff is polite and helpful”, “The method of issuing
books is effective”.
Empathy (Factor 4) contained 3 attributes. This factor ex-
plained 6.992 per cent of the variance, with an eigen value of
1.398 and a reliability of 40.7. These attributes are “Sports of-
ficials take care of students’ sports requirements”, “legal fac-
tors”, and “Training to sportsmen and women”.
Hence it is concluded that the results showed below average
levels. Based on this derived factor analysis we can analyze
further tests like correlation.
Correlation Analysis
A correlation coefficient measured the strength of a linear
between two variables. In the study, a correlation coefficient
measured the strength of a linear between the overall satisfac-
tion of the respondents and four factors (Reliability, assurance,
tangibility and empathy). The correlation between overall sat-
isfaction of Students and four factors was positive and was
significant at the .05 level (2-tailed). For example, the correla-
tion between overall satisfaction and reliability (Factor 1)
was .177 (p = .043); the correlation between overall satisfaction
and assurance (Factor 2) was .210 (p = .021); the correlation
between overall satisfaction and tangibility (Factor 3) was .102
(p = .265), and the correlation between overall satisfaction and
empathy (Factor 4) was .019 (p = .833).
Therefore, the study indicated that the correlation between
overall satisfaction and reliability and assurance was significant
at 5 per cent level and overall satisfaction and tangibility or
empathy were not significant. These results revealed support
for hypothesis 1 that there seems to be a moderate correlation
between overall satisfaction and the selected service quality
dimension attributes.
H2: There is no difference in the overall students’ opinions in
terms of service quality dimensions and demographical charac-
teristics, such as gender, age, occupation of the parent, total
monthly income of family.
Demographic differences in overall student’s opinions:
Table 6 illustrates two-tailed independent t-test and one-
way [ANOVA] results of the mean difference of overall satis-
faction by the demographic characteristics of the respondents.
The results indicated no significant difference in the overall
satisfaction of the respondents in terms of age, occupation of
the parent and total household income. Significant difference in
the overall satisfaction of the respondents was found only in
terms of gender (t = 3.503, p < .05). The results explained that
female respondents were more satisfied with service quality
attributes of S.V. University than male respondents. Thus, hy-
pothesis 2 could be rejected only for gender.
H3: There is no difference in the overall satisfaction of stu-
dents (students’ opinions) in terms of course of study future
plan and self supporting courses.
Behavior Differences in Overall Students Opinions:
Two-tailed independent t-test and Analysis of Variance
(ANOVA) were tested in order to identify the mean differences
in overall satisfaction by the behavior characteristics of the
respondents. The results are shown in Table 7. The results in-
dicated that no significant difference in overall satisfaction of
the respondents was found in terms of the self supporting
courses, future plan and the course of the study (one-way).
However, the results indicated that significant differences were
found in self supporting courses (t = 1.905*, p < .05) and
Course of the study (F = 2.822*). The study revealed that the
respondents who had studied Self Supporting course were more
satisfied than the respondents who had studied different courses
like Science, Arts, and Management.
This article focused on the issue of service quality and stu-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Table 6.
Two-tailed independent t-test and one-way ANOVA results of the mean
difference of overall satisfaction by demographic characteristics of the
respondents variable (N = 120).
Variable Frequency Mean
Gender (t = 3.503*)
Male 62 3.316
Female 58 3.717
Age (years) (F = .445@)
Below 23 Years 86 3.354
Bt 23 - 26 Years 33 3.418
Bt 26 - 29 Years 1 3.600
Occupation of the parent (F = 2.297)
Professional 9 3.489
Business 34 3.457
Employed 14 3.157
Agriculturist 63 3.632
Total household monthly income (F = 2.043)
Below Rs. 10,000 36 3.600
Rs. 10,001 - 20,000 36 3.367
Rs. 20,001 - 30,000 30 3.707
Rs. 30,001 - 40,000 11 3.181
40,001 or Above 7 3.457
Table 7.
Two-tailed independent samples t-test and one-way ANOVA results of
mean difference of overall satisfaction by behavior characteristics of
the student respondents.
Variable Frequency Mean
Self supporting courses (t = 1.905*)
Yes 75 3.655
No 45 3.440
Future plan (F = 1.717)
To Study Further 29 3.635
To Do Job 76 3.450
To Marry 9 3.822
Other 6 3.200
Course of the study (F = 2.822*)
Arts 65 3.575
Science 20 3.490
Management 35 3.400
dents’ opinions. One of the objectives of this study was to in-
vestigate the role of opinions and intentions of students by in-
corporating a number of factors that are assumed to have an
impact on students’ satisfaction, which in turn, would influence
intentions. In the consumer behavior literature on the impor-
tance of customer satisfaction on profit organizations, it was
hypothesized that faculty performance, advising staff perform-
ance, and classes would influence students’ academic experi-
ence which, in turn, would influence their satisfaction and in-
tentions. The course helps them to get ahead in their life career
plans and improve skill development measures to a degree to
which students believe they are learning the skills they need to
succeed in career. The study also revealed that about 55% of
respondents had opted for arts group in S.V. University. The
respondents who opted for Arts group were more satisfied than
those who opted for science and management groups. Espe-
cially the reliability of facilities being offered and most impor-
tantly the empathy of the administrative staff are significant
factors in quality perception. In addition to the learning envi-
ronment, certain other essential facilities are also important for
the students. By assuring a high quality of service and provid-
ing excellent facilities, an institution can attract a lot of students
as it comes to be known for its reliability, excellence and the
high quality of service it provides. Thus, this finding can be
useful to planners to improve and create key facilities to satisfy
the students in S.V. University.
Suggestions and Directions for Further Research
Based on the results of this study, several suggestions can be
made to increase the relationship between service quality and
students’ satisfaction in the realm of higher education of S.V.
University. Hence, it has potential for future research. This
finding can be useful to the university authorities towards im-
proving the teaching system and to make teachers more ac-
countable to students, in formulating strategies to maintain or
enhance their competitive benchmarks, of all public and private
institutions of higher education. Using the same methodology,
further studies can be carried out at the target university to as-
sess various tangible and intangible facilities to understand long
term implications of service quality improvement efforts.
The study has classified students’ views on university ser-
vices (High perception, high expectation), (Low expectation,
high perception), (Higher than average on perception, but be-
low average on expectations), (Below average for both percep-
tion and expectation).
This classification will help service providers and planners to
analyze and identify their strengths, opportunities, threats and
weaknesses (SWOT). They also should focus more on low-
satisfaction and high-expectation attributes to meet students’
expectations and the study recommends that service providers
should make presentations and interpretations of the S.V. Uni-
versity by using multimedia in order to improve low-expecta-
tion attributes.
This study has concentrated on the students’ opinions of ser-
vice quality dimensions and other internal and external factors
that are interlinked. Future research should focus on the impact
of other stakeholders’ perspectives (such as government poli-
cies on university education, attitudes of non teaching staff,
students’ attitudes regarding new course etc.).
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 437
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
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