Higher Education Service Quality, Student Satisfaction and Loyalty: Validating the HESQUAL Scale and Testing an Improved Structural Model

Viraiyan Teeroovengadum*, Robin Nunkoo, Christian Grönroos, T.J. Kamalanabhan, Ashley Keshwar Seebaluck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to validate the higher education service quality (HESQUAL) scale using a confirmatory approach and test an improved structural model that predicts student loyalty from image, perceived value, satisfaction and service quality. In addition to validating the HESQUAL scale using a confirmatory approach, two other main limitations in the extant literature are addressed.
Design/methodology/approach: The model is tested using data collected from 501 students enrolled in different higher education institutions in Mauritius. A two-stage approach to structural equation modeling is used whereby the measurement model is first tested using confirmatory factor analysis and followed by the assessment of the structural model.
Findings: Importantly, results indicate that student satisfaction is influenced by technical service quality, image and perceived value, but not by functional service quality. Both dimensions of service quality however are significant predictors of image and perceived value. The study uses a comprehensive measure of service quality and demonstrates that it is worthwhile to consider functional service quality as higher-order model and clearly distinguish between functional and technical quality, as both the technical and functional aspects play an important role in shaping students’ perceptions and behaviors.
Originality/value: First, in the existing literature, service quality has not been considered as a second-order factor model in structural models of student satisfaction and loyalty, thus lacking either precision or parsimony. Second, the transformative quality aspect of higher education has been largely neglected in previous research testing such predictive models. The model delineates service quality into the functional and transformative (technical) aspects and treats functional service quality as a second-order factor comprising nine sub-dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuality Assurance in Education
Volume27
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)427-445
Number of pages19
ISSN0968-4883
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Loyalty
  • Perceived value
  • Service quality
  • Satisfaction
  • Image
  • Higher education

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