To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

How can universities improve student loyalty? The roles of university social responsibility, service quality, and “customer” satisfaction and trust

Khawaja Fawad Latif (COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Attock, Pakistan)
Louise Bunce (Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)
Muhammad Shakil Ahmad (COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Attock, Pakistan)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 3 March 2021

Issue publication date: 6 May 2021

794

Abstract

Purpose

Student loyalty is important if universities are to stay in business by recruiting and retaining satisfied students who provide positive evaluations of their university to others. The current study employed a theoretical framework established by consumer researchers to test the hypothesis that university social responsibility (USR) would predict student loyalty, but that this relation would be mediated by perceived service quality, student satisfaction, and student trust in their university.

Design/methodology/approach

Fee-paying university students in Pakistan (n = 608) completed a questionnaire to assess their perception of USR and service quality, their satisfaction with and trust in their university, and loyalty toward their university.

Findings

Structural equation modelling with partial least squares software supported the hypotheses that higher perceived USR would be related to higher student loyalty, and that this relation would be mediated by perceived service quality, student satisfaction, and student trust.

Originality/value

This study provides a novel contribution to the limited literature on USR and its relations with student loyalty. Several models have previously examined the relation between corporate social responsibility and general consumer loyalty, but these have limited applicability to the education sector. The data in this study support a model showing that USR supports student loyalty through its positive impact on perceptions of service quality, student satisfaction, and student trust. The findings suggest that USR could be a marketing tool that supports student loyalty, as long as USR initiatives increase students' perceptions of service quality, satisfaction and trust in their university.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Citation

Latif, K.F., Bunce, L. and Ahmad, M.S. (2021), "How can universities improve student loyalty? The roles of university social responsibility, service quality, and “customer” satisfaction and trust", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 815-829. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-11-2020-0524

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles