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Increasing service quality at a university: a continuous improvement project

Fernando Gonzalez Aleu (Department of Engineering, Universidad de Monterrey, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico)
Edgar Marco Aurelio Granda Gutierrez (Graduate School of Engineering and Technology, Universidad de Monterrey, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico)
Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes (Centre for Supply Chain Improvement, University of Derby, Derby, UK)
Juan Baldemar Garza Villegas (Continuous Improvement (Analytics), Viakable SA de CV, San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico)
Jesus Vazquez Hernandez (Innovation and Strategy, Advanced Value Chain Institute, San Pedro Garza García, Mexico)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 5 July 2021

Issue publication date: 27 September 2021




The purpose of this paper is to evaluate a continuous improvement project (CIP) at a Mexican university designed to increase engineering graduate student loyalty.


A plan-do-check-act problem-solving methodology was implemented, and a SERVQUAL survey was conducted on 67 master’s engineering students.


Five factors were found to affect student loyalty: facility cleanliness; faculty teaching skills; evening student services; master’s degree student management roles at work; and master’s degree students’ ages. After the implementation of the improvement and control actions, there was a 7.7% increase in the engineering master’s degree students’ loyalty scores.

Research limitations/implications

However, there were several research limitations: data availability (such as student loyalty, student satisfaction and a small master’s degree student population size) and factors outside the CIP’s scope (such as the country’s economic situation, university rankings, master’s programme accreditations and COVID-19).

Practical implications

The findings from this research study could be used by other higher education institutions (HEIs)to improve student loyalty and as a reference when conducting similar studies in other service organisations such as hospitals and hotels.


This research work took a different approach in assessing student satisfaction and student loyalty in a HEI by using the SERVQUAL survey as the data collection instrument for conducting CIP.



Gonzalez Aleu, F., Granda Gutierrez, E.M.A., Garza-Reyes, J.A., Garza Villegas, J.B. and Vazquez Hernandez, J. (2021), "Increasing service quality at a university: a continuous improvement project", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 29 No. 2/3, pp. 209-224.



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