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SERVQUAL application and adaptation for educational service quality assessments in Russian higher education

Railya B. Galeeva (Department of Economics and Enterprise Management, Kazan Cooperative Institute of the Russian University of Cooperation, Kazan, Russian Federation)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 4 July 2016




The purpose of this study is to demonstrate an adaptation of the SERVQUAL survey method for measuring the quality of higher educational services in a Russian university context. We use a new analysis and a graphical technique for presentation of results.


The methodology of this research follows the classic SERVQUAL method in terms of data acquisition but provides a new approach for data analysis and presentation of findings. The technique is intended to improve upon the original method by including an importance-quality analysis grid and extending it with an innovative graphical tool for presenting results to decision-makers that is based on area-based ratios rather than difference scores.


The report includes survey results of two waves of research conducted in 2009 and 2014. Each wave consisted of 1,000 respondents from 20 branches of study and 11 higher education institutions, respectively.

Research limitations/implications

It is argued that the SERVQUAL method can be improved significantly with the proposed technique. However, the validity and reliability of the importance, expectation and perception summary scores need to be further investigated. Also, alternative methods for quality assessment (SERVPERF/HEdPERF) should be tested and compared with the modified SERVQUAL method in Russian and other international education contexts.

Practical implications

Educational service quality assessments allow the management to acquire an image of the overall quality of an institution, as well as its strengths and weaknesses, thereby improving its strategic positioning to make improvements. It is hoped that the proposed improvement to the SERVQUAL technique will increase adoption of the method among academic institutions.


The improved SERVQUAL methodology demonstrated in this research replaces the widely criticised “difference scores” with an easily applied graphical display. The methodology also incorporates an importance-quality analysis providing a new perspective on the SERVQUAL data. The current findings provide valuable insights into the perceived quality of the Republic of Tatarstan’s higher education system in Russia, as given by its student customers.



Galeeva, R.B. (2016), "SERVQUAL application and adaptation for educational service quality assessments in Russian higher education", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 329-348.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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