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Corneliu Munteanu, Ciprian Ceobanu, Claudia Bobâlcă and Oana Anton
The main purpose of this paper is to investigate differences in student satisfaction across different programs of the same business college, and to identify dimensions…
The main purpose of this paper is to investigate differences in student satisfaction across different programs of the same business college, and to identify dimensions underlying overall perceived quality. It also aims to investigate the existence of differences in perceived quality among programs and factors determining those differences. Based on these results, it seeks to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each program. Finally, differences in satisfaction constituents among high performing students and low performing students are to be analysed.
Research was conducted in two stages. First, a focus group method was employed in order to identify critical incident specificities for the population under study. Then, a survey based on Likert‐type items was used for data collection. Data processing involved both univariate and multivariate analysis.
Three major findings can be pointed out. First, in comparison with similar studies developed in western universities, the list of critical incidents contains noticeable differences. Secondly, it was found that students with different academic performances are concerned with different critical incidents. Thirdly, differences in overall satisfaction with educational experience were found among different lines of specialisation.
A major concern is related to not considering student motivation as an important influential variable on both academic performance and overall satisfaction. Then, a gender based analysis considering differences in satisfaction constituents could have been conducted.
Service organisations, including higher education providers, increasingly recognise that today's customers have many alternatives to chose from, that they may more readily change providers if they are not content, and that satisfaction largely depends on the quality of service provided. In the case of higher education institutions, this seems to be the case at the time (when prospective students apply to several colleges to get admitted), during the break between semesters (when students transfer from one college to another) or at the end of the program (when they can choose whether or not to continue their education within the same college).
The originality of this paper relies on the educational context in which it was conducted, and on the internal competition perspective. Compared with studies conducted in western universities, important differences were found. Romanian students report slightly different issues when evaluating perceived quality and satisfaction. Issues such as campus safety are not a major concern, while professors' personal behaviour problems are highlighted.