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

Evaluating service quality in the higher education sector in Iran: an examination of students’ perspective

Satar Rezaei (Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran)
Behzad Karami Matin (Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran)
Mohammad Hajizadeh (School of Health Administration, Faculty of Health Professions, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada)
Ali Soroush (Lifestyle Modification Research Center, Imam Reza Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran)
Zahra Mohammadi (Students Research Committee, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran)
Maryam Babakhany (Students Research Committee, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran)
Khadije Jamshidi (Students Research Committee, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Education is a human right and access to high quality education is key to sustainable socioeconomic development. Improving the quality of higher education institutes is essential for generating the productive human resources. Assessing the quality of higher education from the students’ perspective can be considered a crucial factor in the monitoring of service quality in universities. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the quality of educational services in a higher education institute, the Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences (KUMS), in the west of Iran.

Design/methodology/approach

A multistage sampling method was used to select 346 students from the KUMS, who were enrolled in the second semester of the academic year 2015-2016. The SERVQUAL questionnaire was used to gather data on students’ perceptions and their expectations about the quality of educational services. The authors used a statistical significance level of 0.05 to examine the gap between the students’ expectations and their perceptions of service quality in five dimensions, namely tangibles, responsiveness, reliability, empathy and assurance.

Findings

The results showed that there was a negative service quality gap in all five dimensions. The overall mean score of students’ expectations and their perceptions was 3.19±0.44 and 2.4±0.45, respectively. The score gap between the overall mean score of perceptions and expectations of students was −0.79, which was statistically significant (p<0.0001). The highest and lowest quality gaps were related to the assurance (−0.84) and tangible (−0.70) dimensions, respectively.

Originality/value

The study indicated that the quality of educational services provided in the KUMS did not meet students’ expectations in five dimensions of service quality. Thus, it warrants further investigations to determine how to improve the quality of educational services in higher education institutes such as the KUMS.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was extracted from an approved project (No. 95041) at the Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences and was funded and supported by the Research Deputy of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. The authors would like to thank students for participating in the study and the Department of Research of the Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences to support the study.

Citation

Rezaei, S., Karami Matin, B., Hajizadeh, M., Soroush, A., Mohammadi, Z., Babakhany, M. and Jamshidi, K. (2017), "Evaluating service quality in the higher education sector in Iran: an examination of students’ perspective", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 146-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-12-2016-0024

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited