1877-0428 © 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.888
Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2 (2010) 5446–5450
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
A study examining the students satisfaction in higher education
Babar Zaheer Butta *, Kashif ur Rehmanb aPh D Scholr, Foundation University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan bAssociate Professor Iqra University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Received November 11, 2009; revised December 1, 2009; accepted January 22, 2010
This study examines the students’ satisfaction in higher education in Pakistan. The study focuses on the factors like teachers’ expertise, courses offered, learning environment and classroom facilities. Students’ response measured through an adapted questionnaire on a 5-point likert scale. The sample size of the study consisted of 350 students belong to different private and public sector universities. The results of regression analysis reveal that all attributes have significant and positive impact on students’ satisfaction in higher education though with varying degree of strength. However, teachers’ expertise is the most influential factor among all the variables, therefore it requires special attention of the policymakers and institutes.
Keywords: Higher education; student satisfaction; learning environment.
Education sector is expanding very rapidly all over the world in recent years. Globalization and digital revolution has created a demand for new and varied disciplines in education. The cost of providing education has gone up manifold due to better teaching methodologies and learning instruments with rising inflation worldwide. The brisk increase in the number of institutions in higher education has led to an intense competition. Number of new institutions has been established and enrolment is also on the rise (Isani & Virk, 2005). Students can get information easily and instantly due to advancement in technology and globalization. In this competitive environment only those institutions can excel which are providing quality education and constructive environment to their students, since these factors can influence their choice of admission. Such factors can satisfy students to their institutions and can affect their decisions to attend.
Extensive research has been carried out studying the factors which can effect the satisfaction and retention of students. Aldridge and Rowley (1998) articulate that according to students’ point of view, good quality education provides better learning opportunities and suggest that the levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction strongly affect the student’s success or failure of learning. Deshields et al (2005) state that higher education institutions are focusing on identifying and satisfying the needs and expectations of their students. Such factors include student academic achievement, faculty performance, classroom environment, learning facilities and institution reputation.
* Babar Zaheer Butt. Tel.: 00923335119506; E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
Babar Zaheer Butt and Kashif ur Rehman / Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2 (2010) 5446–5450 5447
The higher education sector in Pakistan has been undergoing profound transformation during last decade. Many new institutions have been set up and enrolments are also on the higher side. Government has provided numerous incentives to both students and faculty with the collaboration of local and international institutions. The establishment of higher education commission of Pakistan (HEC) is a mammoth milestone in this regard. Higher Education Commission not only encourages students for higher studies but also equips universities for providing quality education. These education reforms have already led to a remarkable growth and competition in higher education sector of Pakistan. Although this is a positive sign for a developing country like Pakistan that the institutions are meeting the demand of the market for qualified individuals with specialization in various fields as a result of industrial growth in the country. However, increased costs and greater competition among institutions require at national and international level that they should adopt a market orientation strategy to differentiate their services from the competitors in order to increase enrolments and attract students. However, increasing enrolments is not the only answer to survival, they also have to properly manage and retain these students. In Pakistan, the focus on quality in higher education is comparatively recent and the subject of student satisfaction has not been explored much. Therefore, the objective of this study is to assess the level of student satisfaction to different services provided by the public and private universities in Pakistan. 2. Literature Review
Numerous studies have been conducted to measure the student satisfaction at university level in developed part of the world. Various factors have been identified that can potentially affect the students satisfaction to different education services provided by the universities. Students’ informal contacts with faculty members were consistently related to withdrawal/ persistence decisions (Terenzini and Pascarella, 1980). Retention of student was often considered as an indication of student satisfaction with their university program and, hence, indirectly, the quality of the university education (Druzdzel & Glymour, 1995). Campbell and Campbell (1997) established faculty mentoring programs to be positively correlated with academic performance and lower drop out rates. Aldridge and Rowley (1998) investigated a group of students in a UK university to measure their satisfaction level. The results revealed that a negative quality model is useful in managing this phenomenon. The model underlined that organizations should seek to respond to incidents that lead to dissatisfaction as they arise as continued perception of poor quality will lead to attrition. Similarly, Napoli and Wortman (1998) assessed that psychological measures i.e., life events during university, self-esteem, social competence, social support, personal conscientiousness, psychological well being and satisfaction with the academic, administrative and social systems of university have impact on university persistence. A study was conducted in German universities using a relationship quality based student loyalty model by Hennig et al (2001) who found that quality of teaching and students’ emotional commitment to their institutions were crucial for students loyalty.
Yu and Dean (2001) examined that both positive and negative emotions and cognitive component of satisfaction correlate with student loyalty and that affective component of satisfaction serves as a better predictor than cognitive factor. Palacio et al (2002) conducted a study on Spanish university students; the results revealed that university image influenced the student satisfaction with the university. The results of a study conducted by Mayo et al (2004) illustrated that conflicting family/work demands, financial issues and academic concerns were the factors identified by students as possible reasons for attrition. Aldemir and Gulcan (2004) examined the Turkish students’ satisfaction in higher education. The results of study showed that for some Turkish university students, the quality of instructors, education, textbooks and being female and informed before attending university considered to important factors of satisfaction. For instance Navarro et al (2005) surveyed the Spanish university students for their satisfaction with educational offers made by the universities. The results of the study expressed that the teaching staff, the teaching methods and course administration were key elements to achieving student satisfaction and their subsequent loyalty.
Mai (2005) studied the student satisfaction in higher education and its influential factors. It was found that the overall impression of the school, overall impression of the quality of the education, teachers expertise and their interest in their subject, the quality and accessibility of IT facilities and the prospects of the degree furthering students careers were the most influential predictors of the students satisfaction. Similarly Deshields et al. (2005) used a satisfaction model and Herzberg’s two factor theory to examine the determinants of student satisfaction with education. They found that faculty performance and classes were the key factors which determined the quality of college experience of students which in turn led to satisfaction. All these studies emphasis on certain factors of
5448 Babar Zaheer Butt and Kashif ur Rehman / Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2 (2010) 5446–5450
education offerings which determine the students’ satisfaction with education and in turn loyalty to the institution. Therefore the objective of this study is to analyze the student satisfaction in higher education in Pakistan which is growing well in recent years. 2.1 Theoretical framework
On the basis of above referred literature this study has identified some important educational services like teachers’ expertise, courses offered, learning environment and classroom facilities which can affect the student satisfaction with the quality of education offered by different private and public sector universities in Pakistan. The conceptual framework of student satisfaction with different educational services is presented here.
2.1.1 Research hypotheses The conceptual framework of the study and reviewed literature suggest some imperative relationship between different educational offerings and students satisfaction. On the basis of such evidence following hypotheses are developed:
H1: Teachers Expertise is positively related to students’ satisfaction H2: Courses Offered is positively related to students’ satisfaction H3: Learning Environment is positively related to students’ satisfaction H4: Classroom Facilities is positively related to students’ satisfaction
This study examines the relationship between students’ satisfaction and education offerings like teachers’ expertise, courses offered, learning environment and classroom facilities. For this purpose, responses were collected from students of different private and public sector universities in Pakistan; the sample size consisted of 350 students from different levels and disciplines. The sample was divided in to two broad categories that were male and female. A questionnaire used to collect the information from the respondents. This questionnaire developed according to local educational environment on the basis of instruments used by Aldemir and Gulcan (2004), DeShields et al. (2005) and Mai (2005) in their studies. The questionnaire was comprised of six sections. Section I consisted of demographic attributes like age, gender, education and discipline etc. Section 2 comprised of questions related to students satisfaction measured on a 5-point Likert scale anchored by “very satisfied” (1) to “very dissatisfied” (5). Sections 3-6 related to teachers expertise, courses offered, learning environment and classroom facilities and respondents were asked to indicate their perception on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from “strongly agree” (1) to “strongly disagree” (5). Reliability analysis demonstrated the Cronbach’s Alpha coefficients for this questionnaire ranging from .82 to .64 for different sections, which considered to be relatively high and internally consistent (Hair et al., 1998).
The questionnaires were conveniently distributed among 450 students of different universities in Pakistan, out of which 370 were received and 350 questionnaires completed in all aspects were included in study for analysis. Before the questionnaire was filled by the respondents the purpose of the questionnaire was explained to each of the respondent. Proper instructions were written on the questionnaire and further instructions were given to the respondents in order to fill the questionnaire properly. To do analysis, regression and Independent Sample T-Test were performed and for this purpose SPSS was used.
Babar Zaheer Butt and Kashif ur Rehman / Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2 (2010) 5446–5450 5449
4. Results and Discussion
The objective of this study is to find out the relationship between students’ satisfaction and various education facilities. Moreover, the level of satisfaction between male and female students is also investigated. For this purpose various tests are performed and results are summarized below:
Table 1: Level of Satisfaction between Male and Female Students (Independent Sample T-Test)
Group Mean Std Dev P-Value
Male 1.7397 .21522 .000 Level of Satisfaction
Female 2.1659 .26110
After ensuring the assumption of equality of variances (p>.05), T-Test is applied to measure the difference of
satisfaction between male and female students. The result of T-Test shows a significant difference between the responses of two groups (p<.05). The mean value of female respondents is greater than male respondents i.e. 2.1659. It indicates that female students are lesser satisfied with their education as compared to male students. The results of this study are almost fair predictions of our socioeconomic values here in Pakistan. Women get fewer opportunities than men in education; many families normally do not allow their daughters to get higher education. The proportion of female students is also smaller than male students both in private and public sector universities. Female students face more problems in reaching and studying at university than male students.
Table 2. Multiple Regression Coefficients, Standard Errors in parenthesis, t-values in brackets, p-values and F-statistics in italics.
Constant Teachers Expertise
R-Square F Statistic
.685 .392 .214 .255 .139 .541 48.000
(.265) (.066) (.097) (.065) (.157)
[2.563] [5.701] [3.205] [5.435] [2.192] Students Satisfaction
.005 .000 .017 .000 .034 .001
The above table reveals the results of regression analysis for students’ satisfaction. It is evident from the results
that model fits the data well (p<0.05) and there is a strong positive relationship between dependent variables and predictors (F-statistics=48.00 and R2=.541). The independent variables of the model explain 54% variations in the dependent variable. The variables when compared on individual basis, all the variables are significant (p<.05). The regression coefficient for teachers’ expertise is 0.392, which suggests that students’ satisfaction is considerably sensitive to teachers’ expertise that brings 39% change in satisfaction. The regression coefficient of courses offered is .214 in this model, which means that it enhances satisfaction by 21%. The regression coefficient of learning environment is 0.255, so, students consider it 25% important for satisfaction. Whereas the regression coefficient of classroom facilities is 0.139, so, it has 14% impact on students’ satisfaction. All four variables have significant impact and positively related to students’ satisfaction, though with varying degree of strength. The results support the hypotheses developed therefore we accept these hypotheses.
5. Conclusion and Recommendations
In recent years higher education sector in Pakistan has grown remarkably in terms of number of institutions and students enrolment due to some earnest steps taken by the government. This situation appeals and enhances the
5450 Babar Zaheer Butt and Kashif ur Rehman / Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2 (2010) 5446–5450
students’ interest in higher education in Pakistan. This study investigates the determinants of students’ satisfaction in higher education and their influence on level of satisfaction. From the results it is evident that students are satisfied with higher education in Pakistan, however level of satisfaction is different between male and female students, owing to socioeconomic setting in the country. Since all the variables are significantly and positively related to students’ satisfaction it is concluded that teachers expertise, courses offered, learning environment and classroom facilities enhance the students satisfaction in higher education. According to results teachers’ expertise is the most influential factor on the students’ satisfaction, whereas courses offered and learning environment are next important factors and classroom facilities is the least important factor among all the variables. This means that teachers’ expertise, courses offered and learning environment do a good job of enhancing students’ satisfaction in higher education.
In the light of above results here are some suggestions and recommendations for the improvement of students’ satisfaction determinants and hence level of satisfaction. Government and institutions should pay special attention to raise the learning opportunities and environment both for male and female students. Efforts should be made to induct, train and retain qualified and expert teachers for promoting the quality education. Courses should be designed to meet the contemporary challenges and needs of the market. Conducive and favourable learning environment should be provided in the universities and classroom facilities should be upgraded by using state of the art technology. Healthy and interactive communication should be established between students and teachers/administration to provide all necessary information to them regarding curriculum, offerings and opportunities.
Aldemir, C. and Gulcan, Y. (2004), “Students Satisfaction in Higher Education: A Turkish Case”, Higher Education Management and Policy, 16(2), 109-122.
Aldridge, S. and Rowely, J. (1998), “Measuring customer satisfaction in higher education”, Quality Assurance in Education, 6(4), 197-204. Campbell, T. A., and Campbell, D. E. (1997), “Faculty/student mentor program: effects on performance and retention”, Research in Higher
Education, 38(6), 727-742. DeShields Jr., O. W., Kara, A. and Kaynak, E. (2005), “Determinants of business student satisfaction and retention in higher education: applying
Herzberg’s two factor theory”, International Journal of Educational Management, 19(2), 28-139. Druzdzel, M. J. and Glymour, C. (1995), “Application of the TETRAD II program to the study of student retention in US colleges”, retrieved on
October 15, 2009. Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L. and Black, W. C. (1998), “Multivariate Data Analysis, 5th ed., Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Hennig-Thurau, T., Langer, M. F., and Hansen, U. (2001), “Modeling and managing student loyalty: An approach based on the concept of
relationship quality”, Journal of Service Research, 3(4), 331-344. Isani, U. A. G., and Virk, M. L. (2005), “Higher education in Pakistan: a historical and futuristic perspective”, Islamabad: National Book
Foundation. Mai, L. (2005), “A Comparative Study between UK and US: The Student Satisfaction in Higher Education and its Influential Factors, Journal of
Marketing Management, 21, 859-878. Mayo, D. T., Helms, M. M., and Codjoe, H. M. (2004), “Reasons to remain in college: a comparison of high school and college students”, The
International Journal of Educational Management, 18(6), 360-367. Napoli, A. R. and Wortman, P. M. (1998), “Psychological factors related to retention and early departure of two-year community college
students”, Research in Higher Education, 39(4), 419-455. Navarro, M. M., Iglesias, P. M. and Torres, R. P. (2005), “A New Management Element for Universities: Satisfaction with the offered courses”,
International Journal of Educational Management, 19(6), 505-526. Palacio, A. B., Menesses, G. D., and Perez Perez, P. J. (2002), “The configuration of the university image and its relationship with the satisfaction
of students”, Journal of Educational Administration, 40(5), 486-505. Terenzini, P. T. and Pascarella, E. T. (1980), “Toward the validation of Tinto’s model of college student attrition: A review of recent studies”,
Research in Higher Education (Historical Archive), 12(3), 271-282. Yu, Y. and Dean, A. (2001), “The contribution of emotional satisfaction to consumer loyalty”, International Journal of Service Industry
Management, 12(3), 234-250.
Discussion 4: T-Tests Critique
Read the following article:
Butt, B.Z., & ur Rehman, K. (2010). A study examining the students satisfaction in higher education. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 5446-5450. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042810009286 ATTACHED
Briefly outline the authors’ analysis.
1. How did their use of T-Tests complement the rest of their analysis?
2. In what ways, if any, could Butt & ur Redman have strengthened their use and/or discussion of T-Tests?
· Your initial post (approximately 200-250 words) should address each question in the discussion