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Deconstructing quality at multi-campus universities: what moderates staff and student satisfaction?

Larissa Sue Christensen (University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Natalie Elizabeth Nilsen (University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 8 July 2021

Issue publication date: 27 September 2021




Through using a realist approach, this study aims to identify the key moderators of multi-campus effectiveness through a systematic literature review, with a focus on faculty staff and student satisfaction.


Following preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines, information from peer-reviewed journal papers relating to multi-campus universities was located. The systematic search spanned a 10 year period (2009 to 2019) and returned 538 results. After duplicates were removed, and titles, abstracts and full-texts were screened, 14 papers matched the eligibility criteria.


Four key moderators were identified through the thematic analysis: inconsistent technology, hesitation to innovate, geographical separation of staff and geographical separation of students.


By exploring the moderators, the study provides policy and practice professionals in higher education with a complex understanding of the key contexts that can hinder the success of staff and student satisfaction at multi-campus universities. To enhance the tangibility of the current review, the study concludes with practical steps forward for enhancing staff and student satisfaction at multi-campus universities.



Funding: This work was supported by the University of the Sunshine Coast under the Advancing Quality Teaching Award.

Declarations and conflict of interests: The authors declare no conflicts of interest with this work.


Christensen, L.S. and Nilsen, N.E. (2021), "Deconstructing quality at multi-campus universities: what moderates staff and student satisfaction?", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 29 No. 2/3, pp. 198-208.



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