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What constitutes quality to students in higher education? An empirical investigation of course-level student expectations

Zsuzsanna Tóth (Department of Management and Business Law, Institute of Business Economics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary)
Bálint Péter Bedzsula (Department of Management and Business Law, Institute of Business Economics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 27 July 2021

Issue publication date: 27 September 2021

175

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and interpret the critical quality attributes of core educational services at the course level both with student and lecturer involvement. Significant differences between the viewpoints of these two directly involved stakeholder groups are also demonstrated to provide a better understanding of student expectations.

Methodology

Students of quality management courses were invited to collect those attributes that could have an impact on their perceived educational service quality. The compiled list of 23 characteristics has been formed on the basis of a four-point Likert scale-based questionnaire. With approximately 360 responses, thorough statistical analyses have been executed to investigate whether any significant differences could be detected between the quality attributes perceived by the different student segments. A group of lecturers has also been invited to fulfil the same questionnaire to compare their viewpoints with those of the students.

Findings

The results allow us to identify critical quality attributes which may be used in all platforms and interactions with students. The conclusions can be implemented on the course level to adjust the plan-do-check-act-based improvement of courses in which lecturers are directly interested.

Originality

As the new generation of students increasingly regard themselves as customers, they have become more aware of how they are taught and how they participate in the learning process. Institutionalizing this approach may contribute to the shaping of the organizational quality culture by emphasizing student focus and may result in the identification of best practices and standardization of processes at the course level.

Keywords

Citation

Tóth, Z. and Bedzsula, B.P. (2021), "What constitutes quality to students in higher education? An empirical investigation of course-level student expectations", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 29 No. 2/3, pp. 116-134. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-07-2020-0088

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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