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What matters for higher education success of private educational institutions? Senior students’ perceptions in Malaysia

Jayaraman Krishnaswamy (Faculty of Business and Law, Taylor’s Business School, Taylor’s University, Subang Jaya, Malaysia)
Zarif Hossain (Taylor’s Business School, Taylor’s University, Subang Jaya, Malaysia)
Mohan Kumar Kavigtha (Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Annamalai Nagaletchimee (School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 8 April 2019

Issue publication date: 18 June 2019




Within the higher education structure, students have the desire for both virtual and face-to-face learning and demand for diverse simulations from the higher education institutions. The purpose of this study is to highlight the significance of higher education success (HES) for one of the top private universities in Malaysia. In the paper, a research model for HES has been proposed and tested within the management perspectives. This research model has five dimensions, namely, smart classroom, user-friendly technology, peers support, partnership and social governance, as potential determinants for HES.


A structured survey questionnaire using an extensive literature review was conducted from a No. 1 private university in Malaysia. The target population included students who have passed out under-graduate or post-graduate or are studying in their final trimester. The questionnaire was administered to 107 respondents using an interview method in order to have scientific and authentic data with minimal common method bias. The data collection process was taken over a one-month period during May 2018 and it ensured the rectification of missing data. The study utilized an inclusive criterion as those students who have complete knowledge about the university in terms of academic, administrative and technical matters.


Out of 107 survey respondents, 76 (71 percent) respondents were favorable for HES, which implies that the targeted education institution strives toward career development for students. The study reveals that the partnership of the institution has a positive influence on HES. Smart classroom and social governance are the other determinants which have a positive impact on HES. An excellent infrastructure facility together with formal and informal activities to cultivate knowledge sharing, trustworthiness, quality education and academic excellence of the institution makes it a healthy atmosphere for students to pursue their studies. However, user-friendly technology and peers support were not found to be significant.

Practical implications

The proposed research model is crucial for educationalists to design the course curriculum for higher education institutions. The significant results and scope discussed in the present study can be applied and customized to any higher education institution in the globe for long-term sustainability to orient students toward career development.


Since the present paper investigates the No. 1 private university, the current findings can be used as a guide for other private universities to enhance their course curriculum. The conceptualization of the research model includes new dimensions which highlight the latest development in HES. Emerging studies have claimed that HES depends on effective administration of the institution by the management and appropriate industry linkages, with the highest priority for student learning capabilities to exhibit their talents.



The authors are thankful to the editor and reviewers for their valuable suggestions and comments in improving the quality of the paper. This research is funded by Taylor’s University Research Grant Scheme (TRGS/MFS/2/2016/TBS/011), Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.


Krishnaswamy, J., Hossain, Z., Kavigtha, M.K. and Nagaletchimee, A. (2019), "What matters for higher education success of private educational institutions? Senior students’ perceptions in Malaysia", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 616-635.



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