Masters and doctorate student experiences of service delivery at public universities in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

Authors

  • Samkele Konyana Department of Corporate Communication and Marketing, Faculty of Business Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2119-0312
  • Stanley Chibuzor Onwubu Postdoctoral fellow, Chemistry, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4499-1534
  • Mokgadi Ursula Makgobole Lecturer, Department of Somatology, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20525/ijrbs.v11i3.1592

Keywords:

Masters and doctorate students, Student experience, University service delivery, Postgraduate programmes

Abstract

The high student attrition at the masters' and doctorate levels requires universities to be customer-oriented, and flexible in their capacity to deliver higher value to mature students whose needs and expectations are high. Therefore, this study aims to assess student experience and service delivery levels that academic departments provide postgraduate students at public universities in KwaZulu-Natal. An empirical study was conducted amongst masters’ and doctorate students at a university of technology, a traditional university, and a comprehensive university. The study involved a survey questionnaire with a five-point Likert scale and included seven service delivery dimensions which respondents were to rank accordingly. Data were subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics and the factors that emerged from factor analysis were tested for reliability and validity by conducting Cronbach's alpha. The results show that postgraduate students are university customers and therefore expect courtesy and professionalism in the delivery of postgraduate programmes. The results further suggest that retention capabilities exist for the traditional university compared to the other types of universities. Students seem to be moderately satisfied with the quality of academic services offered by universities. Service delivery experience among students appears to vary across universities. Universities should take cognisance of the gaps and attempt to be more customer-oriented to ensure the needs and expectations of graduate students are met. The findings of the study may serve as guidelines for a follow-up qualitative study to establish the specific areas where students were not satisfied.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Abbate, T., & Cesaroni, F. (2014). Marketing Orientation and Academic Spin-off Firms. http://hdl.handle.net/10016/18322

Abili, K., Thani, F. N., Mokhtarian, F., & Rashidi, M. M. (2011). Assessing quality gap of university services. Asian Journal on quality, 12(2), 167-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/15982681111158724

Adefulu, A., Farinloye, T., & Mogaji, E. (2020). Factors influencing postgraduate students’ university choice in Nigeria. In E. Mogaji, F. Maringe, & R. E. Hinson (Eds.), Higher Education Marketing in Africa (pp. 187-225). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-39379-3_8

Amorim, M., Rosa, M. J., & Santos, S. (2014). Managing customer participation and customer interactions in service delivery: the case of museums and educational services. Organizacija, 47(3), 166-175. https://doi.org/10.2478/orga-2014-0015

Backhouse, J. (2010). Patterns of practice in South African doctoral education: An empirical study. Acta Academica, 2010(sup-1), 1-22.

Berndt, A., & Boshoff, C. (2018). Services marketing (3rd ed.). Juta.

Bisschoff, C., Botha, C., & Asvat, R. (2019). Developing a conceptual model to measure business performance for private higher education institutions. International Journal of Management in Education, 13(4), 307-337. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJMIE.2019.10020812

Botha, R. J. (2018) Student throughput trends on postgraduate level: An African case study. The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning, 13(2), 53-66.

Branco Oliveira, D., & Soares, A. M. (2016). Studying abroad: Developing a model for the decision process of international students. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 38(2), 126-139. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2016.1150234

Cant, M. C., & van Heerden, C. H. (2017). Marketing management: a South African perspective. Juta & Co.

Carroll, D., Eric, N., & Birch, D. (2013). Strategies to improve retention of postgraduate business students in distance education courses: An Australian case. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 14(1), 140-153.

Dann, S. (2008). Applying services marketing principles to postgraduate supervision. Quality Assurance in Education, 16 (4), 333-346. https://doi.org/10.1108/09684880810906481

Dye, J. (2013). Understanding the information needs of postgraduate taught students and how these can be met.

Gruber, T., Fuß, S., Voss, R., & Gläser?Zikuda, M. (2010). Examining student satisfaction with higher education services: Using a new measurement tool. International journal of public sector management, 23 (2), 105-123. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513551011022474

Hadi, N. U., & Muhammad, B. (2019). Factors Influencing Postgraduate Students' Performance: A high order top down structural equation modelling approach. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 19(2), 58-73. https://doi.org/10.12738/estp.2019.2.004

Hague, P., Harrison, M., Cupman, J., & O, T. (2016). Market Research in Practice. KoganPage.

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2010). MDA: A Global Perspective (7th ed.). McGraw Hill Education.

Hair, J. F., Celsi, M., Ortinau, D. J., & Bush, R. P. (2016). Essentials of Marketing Research. (4th ed.). McGraw Hill.

Hermawan, A., Yusran, H. L., & Nugrahanti, A. (2018). Exploring the Antecedents and Consequents of Student Experience in Higher Education Settings. Journal of Intercultural Management, 10(1), 63-82. https://doi.org/10.2478/joim-2018-0003.

Hoffman, K. D., & Bateson, J. E. G. (2011). Services marketing: concepts, strategies and cases (4th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Horgan, A., Manning, F., Bocking, J., Happell, B., Lahti, M., Doody, R., Griffin, M., Bradley, S. K., Russell, S., & Bjornsson, E. (2018). ‘To be treated as a human’: Using co?production to explore experts by experience involvement in mental health nursing education–The COMMUNE project. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27(4), 1282-1291. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12435bs_bs_banner.

Jaiswal, P., Gupta, M., & Singh, V. P. (2014). Employee attitude towards training and development practices in manufacturing sector: A case study. Review of HRM, 3, 228-235.

Kalenskaya, N., Gafurov, I., & Novenkova, A. (2013). Marketing of educational services: Research on service providers satisfaction. Procedia economics and finance, 5, 368-376. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2212-5671(13)00044-0.

Katamei, J. M., & Kiprop, C. (2015). Student perception on service delivery at Moi University: a case study of Privately Sponsored Student Programme (PSSP) in Eldoret west campus, Kenya. International Journal of Education and Research, 3 (5), 49, 64.

Konyana, S. V. M. (2013). Promotional tools at selected universities in the Tshwane Metropolitan Region Durban University of Technology]. Durban.

Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2016). Marketing management. (15th ed.). Pearson International Edition.

Mogaji, E., Maringe, F., & Hinson, R. E. (2020). Understanding higher education market in Africa. Routledge.

Mutula, S. M. (2011). Challenges of postgraduate research: case of developing countries. South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science, 77(2), 184-190.

Newton, R. (2019). Universities Need to Make Student Experience a Priority. https://www.universityworldnews.com/post-mobile.php?story=20190129105720390

Ngibe, M., & Lekhanya, L. M. (2016). Perceptions of research structures and service quality within various faculties at Durban University of Technology: staff and students perspective. Problems and perspectives in management(14, Iss. 1 (contin)), 192-200. https://doi.org/10.21511/ppm.14(1-1).2016.07

Nixon, E., Scullion, R & Hearn, R. (2018). Her Majesty the students: Marketised higher education and narcisstic (dis)satisfaction of the student consumer. Studies in Higher Education, 43(6), 927-943. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2016.1196353.

Pather, S., & Dorasamy, N. (2018). The mismatch between first-year students’ expectations and experience alongside university access and success: A South African university case study. Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, 6(1), 49-64. https://doi.org/10.24085/jsaa.v6i1.3065

Peralt Rillo, A., & Ribes Giner, G. (2013). A proactive market orientation for the postgraduate programs. Dirección y Organización(50), 37-47. https://doi.org/10.37610/dyo.v0i50.430

Robson, K., Aranda-Mena, G., & Baxter, J. (2017). Chasing student satisfaction in the delivery of property higher education. Delft: ERES (24th Annual Conference of European Real Estate Society. https://doi.org/10.15396/eres2017_84

Shaw, C., Dibeehi, Q., & Walden, S. (2010). Customer experience: future trends and insights. Palgrave Macmillan.

Smilansky, S (2017). Experiential marketing:a practical guide to interactive brand experiences (2nd ed.). Kogan page.

Sing, N. I., (eds). Higher Education Marketing in Africa. Switzerland: Springer Nature, pp. 343-367. (2020). Experiences of doctoral Students’ Vulnerability in South Africa. In E. Mogaji, F. Maringe, & R. E. Hinson (Eds.). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-39379-3_13.

Sondlo, M. (2016) A comparative study of student retention and throughput in a postgraduate distance education programme, Unpublished MEd dissertation. Pretoria: University of Pretoria.

Strydom, J. (2014). Introduction to marketing (5th ed.). Juta and Co.

Stukalina, Y. (2014). Identifying Predictors of Student Satisfaction and Student Motivation in the Framework of Assuring Quality in the Delivery of Higher Education. Business, management and education, 12(1), 127-137. https://doi.org/10.3846/bme.2014.09

Tan, A., Muskat, B., & Zehrer, A. (2016). A systematic review of quality of student experience with enrolment assistance in higher education. Journal of Quality and Services Sciences, 8(2), 209-228. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-08-2015-0058

Tham, S. Y., & Kam, A. J. Y. (2008). Internationalising higher education: Comparing the challenges of different higher education institutions in Malaysia. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 28(4), 353-367. https://doi.org/10.1080/02188790802468880

Thangavelu, A., Partridge, H., Carey, K., O'Sullivan, C., & Lutvey, N. (2019). Evaluating the student experience with enrolment assistance in an integrated student support service program at the University of Southern Queensland. Student Success, 10(1), 99-115. https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.v10i1.1121

Van der Linde, A. S. (2012). Supervisor-student relationship: A leadership model for enhancing postgraduate research at a university of technology University of the Free State]. Free State.

Van der Westhuizen, E. (2014). Student experiences of service delivery in an academic department at a higher education institution in South Africa. Journal of Public Administration, 49(1), 406-423.

Velasco, M. S. (2012). More than just good grades: candidates’ perceptions about the skills and attributes employers seek in new graduates. Journal of Business Economics and Management, 13(3), 499-517. https://doi.org/10.3846/16111699.2011.620150

Vululleh , S. P. 2020. An Intergrative Model for Marketing for Marketing Higher Education in Africa: Branding Beyond Survival for Prosperity. In: Mogaji, E., Maringe, F and Hinson, R. E eds. Strategic Marketing of Higher Education in Africa. Dordrecht: Routledge, London and New York, pp. 45-54.

Wiid, J. A., Cant, M. C., & Makhitha, K. M. (2016). Strategic marketing (2nd ed.). Juta.

Wilkins, S., & Balakrishnan, M. (2011). Why do students choose to study at international branch campuses? Findings from the United Arab Emirates, Charlotte, US. International Forum of the ASHE (20th International Forum of the ASHE Annual Conference,

Yussof, M. N., & Nayan, S. M. (2020). Review on customer satisfaction. Journal of Undergraduate

Social Science and Technology, 2(2), retreived from https://abrn.asia/ojs/index.php/JUSST/article/view/80.

Zakuan, N., Muniandy, S., Saman, M. Z. M., Ariff, M. S. M., Sulaiman, S., & Abd Jalil, R. (2012). Critical success factors of total quality management implementation in higher education institution: a review. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 2(12), 19-32.

Zeithaml, V. A., Bitner, M. J., & Gremler, D. D. (2017). Services marketing: integrating customer focus across the firm (7th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Downloads

Published

2022-04-30

How to Cite

Konyana, S., Onwubu, S. C., & Makgobole, M. U. (2022). Masters and doctorate student experiences of service delivery at public universities in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 11(3), 265–277. https://doi.org/10.20525/ijrbs.v11i3.1592

Issue

Section

Related Topics in Social Science