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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

1.1

Introduction

Service industries are playing an increasingly important role in the economy of many nations. In today‟s global competition, service quality is portrait to be the key for success and many experts concur that the most powerful competitive trend currently shaping marketing and business strategy is the service quality. High service quality is correlated with an increase in profitability in organisations because of repeated sales, positive word-of- mouth, feedback, customer loyalty and competitive product differentiation hence resulting in satisfied customers (Abdullah, 2006). In Malaysia, the service sector has increased significantly over the years. In 1980 it had contributed to 44.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 46.0% of the total employment of the country, by 2005 the GDP had grown to 60.8% and the total employment at 58.0%.

As it was written by the Edge Financial Daily (2011), Malaysia‟s high education sector has increased the number of both private and public institutions. It was stated that there are about 20 public universities, 26 private universities, 23 private university colleges and 5 foreign universities with branch campuses. With this ample of institutions in the country the number of students heading abroad for higher education has decreased sharply from 117, 297 in the year 2000 to 58, 963 in 2009. Also there has been an increase of international students in local private universities
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from 1995 with 580 students to 86,923 in the year 2010 which have led the private education providers to be so competitive in regard to their service quality to try to meet their customer‟s expectations and maintaining their stable growth hence increasing the level of satisfaction in their customers. According to Lewis and Booms (1983) service quality is a measure of how well a delivered service matches the customers‟ expectations as cited by (Brian, Chris, Letty and Mandeep, 1998). Also, service quality has been defined as a form of attitude – a long-run overall evaluation (Zeithaml, 1988; Parasuraman et al., 1988). Many scholars such as Parasuraman et al., (1988), Juwaheer and Ross (2003) and Walker et al., (2006) highlighted that reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and tangibles are the most important service quality characteristics. Hence service quality excellencies is a key factor in building market niche and having the competitive edge that separate one from its competitors, the purpose of this study is to investigate how universities attempt to remain competitive and maintain a stable growth that can lead to student satisfaction.

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1.2

Problem Statement Ever since the introduction of Private Higher Education and Institution Act by the Parliament, higher education in Malaysia has become a commodity and the number of these institutions has increased drastically. The academic service has been slowly becoming a commodity in the industry of higher education in the country. As the number of universities and colleges‟ increases, one would expect a stiff competition ahead, it is therefore important for these institutions to differentiate themselves for other competing institutions. Perhaps quality assurance in the form of service quality and customer satisfaction are the "competitive advantage" that can be provided by these institutions to ensure good reputation and growth. Higher education institutions must assure their customers of the quality of services they provide.

Furthermore, the Malaysian government has intended to make the country a center of academic excellence for everyone including international students. In order to make the government's intention become reality, researches to examine customer's expectations in relation to higher education must take a centre stage. In so doing, the study to determine the dimensions of service quality in higher education, and the measuring instruments of service quality should be thoroughly studied and embraced. The outcome of the study will be of much help to the university to be more customer-focused to ensure their sustainability and growth. The issue of "quality" and has become the main focus for many academic institutions for the improvement and development of the quality of services provided. Some institutions have responded by implementing quality

improvement initiatives such as Total Quality Management and ISO 9000.
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Unfortunately, little research has been conducted to determine the effectiveness on the service quality and how service quality affects student satisfaction particularly in UCSI University. The issue of quality especially quality assurance has become the focus of many higher education institutions. Higher education needs to establish a quality assurances system to improve and enhance their efforts toward quality of education in order to effectively and efficiently respond to global competition and national education reform. This reform encourages close participation of all stakeholders at all levels of education in this industry. The task of higher education institution is not only to provide quality education but to must assure the public of its accountability in educational quality. The academic institution of higher education has a number of different stakeholders to serve that include academic staffs, administrators, students and their family, local community, the governments and future employer. However, students are perhaps the key stakeholders; both process and outcome affect student or customer's judgment of service quality. Process is how customers are treated during the service interaction, and outcome is the actual result as experienced by the customer. The student perceptions of the higher education experience are increasingly important as colleges and universities are attempting to become more student oriented.

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1.3 I.

Research Questions What is the relationship between perceived service quality (reliability, responsiveness, empathy, assurance and tangibility) and undergraduate student‟s satisfaction in UCSI University?

II.

What are the differences between perceived service quality among local and international undergraduate students in UCSI University?

III.

What are the differences in the level of student satisfaction between local and international undergraduate students in UCSI University?

1.4

Research Objectives I. To identify the relationship between perceived quality services (tangibility, responsiveness, reliability, assurance and empathy) and student satisfaction among undergraduate students in UCSI university. II. To determine the differences between perceived service quality among local and international students in UCSI University. III. To examine the differences in the level of satisfaction between local and international undergraduate students in UCSI University. IV. To find out the determinants of undergraduates students satisfaction on perceived service quality.

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1.5

Hypotheses

Ha1: There is a positive relationship between reliability and student‟s satisfaction. Ha2: There is a positive relationship between tangibility and student‟s satisfaction. Ha3: There is a positive relationship between responsiveness and student‟s satisfaction. Ha4: There is a positive relationship between assurance and student‟s satisfaction. Ha5: There is a positive relationship between empathy and student‟s satisfaction. Ha6: There is a significant difference between local and international student‟s perceived service quality in UCSI University. Ha7: There is a significant difference in student‟s satisfaction between local and international students. Ha8: The variance of student‟s satisfaction is explained by (tangibility, responsiveness, reliability, assurance and empathy).

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1.6

Significance of the Study

On how service quality can be enhanced, there have been demonstrations among several industries. The qualities of services are applied to universities to differentiate from one another. Furthermore competing against each other at academic level, universities should try to offer an added advantage to back up the quality in services it offer to its customers. This study is important because it is going to measure the level of service quality and the level of satisfaction among the students. The results from the study can be used to give valuable information on the elements and the dimensions, which have been given a priority by students in assessing the quality of services and satisfaction. In addition to that, this study is going to provide conclusions and some recommendations, which are hoped that it‟s going to provide useful information to UCSI University hence it will have a better view of the strengths and weaknesses of its services so that improvement can be made wherever necessary also this can help to continuously gain better relationship among the university itself and the students as a whole. Hence the university will be able to achieve its motto “THE UNIVERSITY THE EXPERIENCE”.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW

This chapter is essentially to review previously published literature relevant to the research topic and helps to provide a clear understanding. Hence reviewing the dependent variable (student satisfaction) independent variables (reliability,

responsiveness, tangibility, assurance and empathy), followed by the conceptual frame work which is also presented in this chapter.

2.1 Student Satisfaction Kotler and Clarke (1987) as cited by Ilias, Rahman, and Razak (2008) define satisfaction as a state felt by a person who has experience performance or an outcome that fulfil his or her expectation. Satisfaction is a function of relative level of expectations and perceives performance. The expectation may go as far as before the students even enter the higher education, suggesting that it is important to the researchers to determine first what the students expect before entering the university (Palacio, Meneses and Perez, 2002). In contrary, Carey, Cambiano and De Vore (2002), believe that satisfaction actually covers issues of students‟ perception and experiences during the college years. While most student satisfaction study focus on the perspective of customers, researchers are facing a problem of creating a standard definition for student satisfaction thus providing a need of customer satisfaction theory to be selected and modified so that it can explain the meaning of student

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satisfaction (Hom, 2002). Hoyer and MacInnis (2001) found that satisfaction can be associated with feelings of acceptance, happiness, relief, excitement, and delight. Many researchers have looked into the importance of customer satisfaction in that if it is properly implemented such service quality have a significant impact on customer satisfaction (Gronroos, 1984; Parasuraman et al., 1988; Walker et al., 2006).

2.2 Service Quality Quality is judged on the assessment of the user or consumer of the service. Theoretically in the services literature quality is based on the perceived quality. Perceived quality is defined as the consumer‟s judgment about an entity‟s overall experience or superiority (Zeithaml, 1987; Zammuto et al. 1996). Similarly, Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1990) also concluded that consumer perceptions of service quality result from comparing expectations prior to receiving the service, and their actual experience of the service. Perceived quality also is seen as a form of attitude, related to, but not the same as satisfaction, and resulting from a comparison of expectations with perceptions of performance (Rowley, 1996).

Therefore, perceived service quality could be the product of the evaluations of a number of service encounters and in this case, of a student, these could range from encounters with office staff, to encounters with tutors, lecturers, the head of departments, etc (Hill, 1995). As a result, if an organization regularly provides service at a level that exceeds customer expectations, the service will be evaluated as high quality. In contrast, if an organization fails to meet customer expectations, the
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service will be judged as poor quality (Zammuto et al., 1996). Generally, students have three main criteria that need to be satisfied with services. These has been labelled as Requisite encounters which essentially enable students to fulfil their study obligations; Acceptable encounters which students acknowledge as being desirable but not essential during their course of study and Functional, an encounter of a practical or utilitarian nature (Oldfield and Baron, 2000).

According to Lassar, Manolis and Winsor (2000), two most prevalent and widely accepted perspectives on service quality include the SERVQUAL model and the Technical/Functional Quality framework. Gronroos (1984) held that service quality is made up of three dimensions "the technical quality of the outcome", "the functional quality of the encounter" and “the company corporate image”. He argued that in examining the determinants of quality, it is necessary to differentiate between quality associated with the process of service delivery and quality associated with the outcome of service, judged by the consumer after the service is performed.

Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1985) however listed ten dimensions of service quality which include tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, competence, access, courtesy, communication, credibility, security and understanding. These ten dimensions were then regrouped in the well-known five dimensions in the SERVQUAL model (Parasuraman et al., 1990) which include assurance, empathy, reliability, responsiveness and tangibility. Previous research also done by Mahiah et al. (2006) also confirmed Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1985) and they suggest that increasing of sophistication of reliability, empathy, tangibility, responsiveness

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and assurance can increase customer satisfaction towards services rendered by Human Resource Department.

Reliability is mostly viewed as the ability of service provider to implement promised service dependably and accurately (Wong and Sohal, 2003). For instance if the university keeps its records accurately, staff and lectures are sincere in solving the student‟s problems, the teaching capability of lectures and the general reliability of lectures i.e. keeps time or don‟t cancel classes. There is a positive relationship between reliability and student satisfaction because if the students cannot rely on the staff and lectures then there is a high possibility that they are not satisfied by them.

Responsiveness is often defined as the willingness of service provider to provide services quickly and accurately (Johnston, 2006) and the readiness to respond to customer requests. For example availability of personnel (lectures and staff) to assist the students, channels for expressing student complaints and if the queries and complaints are dealt with efficiently and promptly. If continual queries and complaints are transferred to the school management by the students and no action has been done what so ever, this may reduce the level of satisfaction towards how the school operate by the students. That is why there is a positive relationship between responsiveness and student satisfaction.

Assurance refers to credibility, competence and security in delivering services (Juwaheer and Ross, 2003). Furthermore this can be viewed like if the university staffs and lectures are friendly and courteous, level of communication skills in terms
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of lecturing, security measures in the university and the academic credentials of lectures. These things have an impact of the level of satisfaction on students. The poorer these things are perceived by a student, the lesser the level of satisfaction on the student. Hence there is a positive relationship between assurance and student satisfaction.

Empathy is related to caring, attention and understanding the customer needs when providing service. For instance if the access to computer facilities and study rooms are able to accommodate with the student‟s convenience, if the university is fair and unbiased in their treatment of individual students and if the administrative has student‟s best interest at heart. These also affect the level of satisfaction on the students. If they are met correctly then this will increase the level of the student‟s satisfaction toward how the school is ran and managed.

Lastly tangibles are modern equipment, visually appealing facilities, employees who have a neat professional appearance and visually appealing materials associated with the service itself (Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry, 1994). These also have an impact in how students perceive the university which will affect her/his level of satisfaction. Appealing buildings and facilities can increase the level of satisfaction of students, hence there is a positive relationship between tangibility and student satisfaction.

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2.2.1 Facilities and Services in UCSI University The facilities and services that the university offers are halls (conference room, examination hall, multipurpose hall and recital), laboratories (3D lab, computer lab, engineering lab, language lab, psychology lab and science lab), workshop (fashion design workshop), sport and recreation (badminton courts, basketball court, gymnasium, squash courts and swimming pool), store (Apple store, bookstore and gift store), library and resource centre, student services (finance office, registrar office, course counsellor office), music facilities (recording studio, teaching studios & classroom, MIDI lab, keyboard lab), Laurent Blue clinic and other facilities like cafeteria, student centre and shuttle bus service, accommodation and parking as cited in its website http://lms.ucsi.edu.my/en/facilities-kl.

2.2.2 Service Quality (SQ) in Higher Education (HEI) SERVQUAL has been used in higher education sector. Numerous studies have adapted this measurement in HEI, such as SQ in business schools and higher educational institutions (Cuthbert, 1996; Soutar and McNeil, 1996; Saaditul, Samsinar and Wong, 2000).

Study conducted by Cuthbert (1996) indicates that among the dimension in SQ, the score for tangibility (3.34) is the highest, followed by assurance (3.21), reliable (3.11), responsive (3.04) and empathy (2.58). However he added that this does not mean tangibility is a major contributor towards the student‟s satisfaction as he believes it is the service encounter which is the determinant factor. O‟Neill and Palmer (2004) similarly agree that, although tangibility is ranked as the best in term
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of overall performance score, but it has been ranked as the least importance by the students compared to process and empathy. Study by Perisau and McDaniel (1997) found that, assurance and reliability has been identified as the most important suggesting that students are most concern with the knowledge, courtesy and ability to inspire trust and confidence which is part of the assurance dimension.

Nevertheless, there are studies that have different opinions on the importance of tangibility dimension in service quality. Smith and Ennew (2001) outlined an interesting aspect in their research toward the SQ in higher education. They highlighted that there is difficult aspect in the choice of satisfaction perception of customers between the affective indignation and the technical functionality. For example, the particular facility consumed by the students could be judged according to how reliable they are (technical functionality) or according to their ages, appearances, courtesy and empathy (affective). The perfect reliable facility, which is not up to date, but are capable of carrying out the task, may still be negatively rated if the users expect the university to provide up to date facility. He also showed that there were specific supportive items known as peripheral aspect and the university facilities, which students consume such as cafeterias and residential accommodation that will directly and indirectly have a significant impact on the evaluation of the university. Based on the study by Umbach and Porter (2002), it also appears that the size or a number of faculties within a department in HEI is important in explaining student satisfaction.

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LeBlanc and Nguyen (1997) for example stressed on the reputation as a factor, which is tied closely to management‟s capacity to foster an organizational climate directed at serving the needs of its customers and to the image of the HEI. It is also a process related in that, it involves an ability to inspire trust and confidence and provide personal attention to students in a professional and caring manner. In term of importance, the study has shown that perceived value is derived mainly from price/quality, a factor that is closely tied to the business school's capacity to offer sufficient services to students and convince them that they are receiving quality services in exchange for what they give by means of their tuition fees.

Study conducted by Ford, Joseph and Joseph (1999) found about service quality by comparing the importance score of service quality in higher education for the New Zealand student sample and the United States sample. They found that for the New Zealand sample, academic reputation has been ranked as the first followed by career opportunities, programme issues, cost/time, physical aspects, location and others while for the USA sample, it was found that the first rank is academic reputation, cost/time, programme issues, others, physical aspects and choice influences.

Previous studies on service quality in higher education also often emphasized academic more than administration, concentrating on effective course delivery mechanisms and the quality of courses and teaching (Atheeyaman, 1997; Cheng and Tam, 1997; Soutar and McNeil, 1996; Griemel-Fuhrmann and Geyer, 2003). However there are also an attempt to look upon the administrative side of higher institution like the study by Kamal and Ramzi (2002), which attempt to measure student perception of registration and academic advising across different faculties
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and other administrative services to assure positive quality service that compliments the academic.

2.2.3 Service Quality and Students’ Satisfaction Service Quality is commonly noted as a critical prerequisite for establishing and sustaining satisfying relationship with valued customers. In this way, the association between service quality and customer satisfaction has emerged as a topic of significant and strategic concern (Cronin and Taylor, 1992). In general, perceived service quality is an antecedent to satisfaction (Spreng and Mckoy, 1996). Thus, a proper understanding of the antecedents and determinants of customer satisfaction can be seen as to have an extraordinarily high monetary value for service organization in a competitive environment (Lassar, Manolis and Winsor, 2000).

Bigne, Moliner and Sanchez (2003) found that the overall service quality have a significant relationship with satisfaction at R= 0.66. Ham and Hayduk (2003) have confirmed that, even in the higher educational settings, there is a positive correlation between perception of service quality and student satisfaction, and analyzing upon the relationship based on each of the dimension of service quality, reliability of 55% which has the strongest relationship followed by responsiveness and empathy with 54%, assurance 49% and tangibility 42% .

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2.3 Theoretical Framework

Service Quality dimensions • Tangibility • Competences • Access • Responsiveness • Courtesy • Reliability • Communications • Credibility • Understanding • Security

Customer Satisfaction

Figure 2.1: Theoretical Framework of the Study Adapted from Parasuraman Zeithaml and Berry (1985)

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2.4 The Conceptual Framework

The literature has been used as a foundation to develop a conceptual framework for this study as shown below.

Service Quality (SQ)
     Tangibility Assurance Responsiveness Reliability Empathy

Student Satisfaction

Independent variables

Dependent variable

Figure 2.2: Conceptual Framework of the Study

In this figure 2.1, this research took into consideration five independent variables which are tangibility, assurance, responsiveness, reliability and empathy. These independent variables are in relation with the dependent variable which is student satisfaction.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY

This chapter discuss about the information related to research design, sampling method, instrumentation measurement, data collection and data analysis.

3.1 Research Design According to Malholtra (2006) as cited by Roslina (2009), described research design as a framework or blueprint for conducting marketing research project. Research design helps the researcher to organize the research activities, including the data collection, in ways that are most likely to achieve the research objectives. This study is descriptive quantitative study, where the purpose is to describe in detail the relationship between service quality (reliability, responsiveness, assurance, tangibility and empathy) and the level of student satisfaction.

3.2 Research Location The study was conducted in UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur campus, Malaysia. The questionnaire was distributed among the students at Block C and the library because classes are attended in Block C and most of the students use the library more frequently so a large number of questionnaires were distributed in these areas.

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3.3 Target Population and Sampling Population refers to a group of people who share common characteristics or interests the researcher wishes to investigate. UCSI University has a large population of students. Hence for this study, the population refers to the students of UCSI University who are undergraduates both local and international students. The sample size was to estimate with the sampling error of not more than +- 5% at the 95% confidence level of 6362 undergraduate students. This is proven by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (1994) where 6000 of the population size according to the 80/20 split the sample size is 250.

3.5 Sampling Technique Non- probability convenience sampling was chosen because members that are easily accessible were chosen as a subject. This sampling design was mostly suitable because it is quick, convenient and less expensive and also it was chosen due to time constraints and lack of human resource.

3.7 Instrumentation This study used questionnaire as a means to obtain the needed data. The questionnaire was divided into three parts, Section A consisted of Demographic factors, Section B: Measurement of service quality in UCSI University and Section C: Measurement of Student Satisfaction. In section A there were four questions about age, gender, nationality and the year of study. Followed by section B with thirty two questions on the service quality in UCSI University and lastly section C with five questions regarding the student satisfaction. Instrument used in this study
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was adapted from Parasuraman et al. (1990) with some of the items used extracted from LeBlanc and Nguyen (1997) using the five dimensions in service quality (tangibility, reliability, assurance, responsiveness and empathy) using the interval scale from 1 if strongly disagree to 5 for strongly agree. In measuring student satisfaction, the variable had five items with Likert scale ranging from 1 if strongly disagree to 5 for strongly agree.

Table 3.1: The Usefulness of Each Part of the Questionnaire Content Usefulness Items

Section A To understand the General information about the respondents background of the respondents

4 items Age, gender, race nationality and year of the study

Section B To measure tangibility, Measurement of the service quality assurance, reliability, responsiveness and empathy of UCSI students. Total of 32 questions Question 1 to question 32 5- point Likert scale

Section C To measure level of Measurement of student satisfaction satisfaction on students on services provided by the university. Total of 5 questions Question 1 to question 5 5 -point Likert scale

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Table 3.2: Variable Measurement (refer to the Questionnaire at the Appendix)

Variable Dependent Variable Student Satisfaction

Measurement

Scale

Item SS1-SS5 Five-point likert scale Summation score range from(5-25) Interval

Independent Variables Service quality: 1. Tangibility 2. Assurance 3. Reliability 4. Responsiveness 5. Empathy Summation score range from (8-40) Summation score range from (6-30) Summation score range from (7-35) Summation score range from (5-25) Summation score range from (6-30) Interval Interval Interval Interval Interval

3.8

Data Collection

This study was carried out by gathering the primary data from the samples that stands for the whole students in the university. A questionnaire technique was used in order to collect the data. Similar set of questions were asked to each participant, which was an effective way in collecting responses from a large sample of students to quantitative analysis. The delivery and collection of questionnaire which is under self-administered questionnaire was selected in this study. The participants had to complete the questions and be collected back on the spot. This type of questionnaire increased level of confidence to receipt the responses back because the questionnaire was delivered by hand to each respondent and collected there and there.

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3.9 Pilot Testing 20 questionnaires were distributed around the campus for pilot testing purposes and the SPSS was used to test the reliability of the questionnaire. It is important to test for reliability as it shows how consistent a measuring instrument measures the concept that is being measured (Sekaran and Bougie, 2010). In this research only Section B & C in the questionnaire was tested for reliability.

In choosing the most suitable reliability test for this research, it has been suggested to use the internal consistency method, which is checked by Cronbach‟s Alpha (Mitchell, 1996). According to Sekaran and Bougie (2010), the minimal level of Cronbach‟s Alpha coefficient to be accepted should be 0.70 where the higher value signifies higher reliability. . Table 3.3: Pilot Test Results (Reliability Statistics)

Cronbach‟s Alpha SECTION B Reliability Responsiveness Tangibility Assurance Empathy SECTION C Student Satisfaction 0.942 0.876 0.836 0.856 0.896 0.873

N of items

7 5 8 6 6

5

Since the results were above 0.70, it is considered to be stable and consistent. Thus the questionnaire research can be conducted.
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3.10 Data Analysis In this study, the data analysis was conducted through „Statistical Package for Social Science‟ software or SPSS version 19. The study also tested reliability of the instrument so that it enabled to produce robust and valid results (which ranged at 0.70 or higher). Normality test was launched thereafter to ensure that the questionnaire is normally distributed. Therefore the level of significant at p< 0.05 was used. The demographics profile of the respondents such as gender, age group, nationality and year of study are shown by using frequency and percentage to better understand the respondents‟ background information and to analyse the percentages of each item being selected by respondents.

Pearson correlation analysis was used for hypotheses testing to indicate the relationship on: Ha1: There is a positive relationship between reliability and student‟s satisfaction. Ha2: There is a positive relationship between tangibility and student‟s satisfaction. Ha3: There is a positive relationship between responsiveness and student‟s satisfaction. Ha4: There is a positive relationship between assurance and student‟s satisfaction. Ha5: There is a positive relationship between empathy and student‟s satisfaction.

Independent Sample T-test analysis was used for hypotheses testing to indicate the differences on: Ha6: There is a significant difference between local and international student‟s perceived service quality in UCSI University.

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Ha7: There is a significant difference in student‟s satisfaction between local and international students. Regression analysis was used for hypothesis testing to indicate the variance on: Ha8: The variance of student‟s satisfaction is explained by (tangibility, responsiveness, reliability, assurance and empathy).

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CHAPTER 4 ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

4.1 Profiles of the Respondents The demographic information includes the following characteristics of participants: gender, age, year of study and nationality. The demographics information is represented in table 4.1 based on the frequency distributions and percentages.

From the 250 respondents in this study, majority are females by 139(55.6%) and 111 (44.4%) are males. The majority of students are aged between 18 to 21 years old (53.2%) followed by those ranging from 22 to 28 years old (40.0%), those less than 18 years old are (6.0%) and those who are 29 and more would be the least among the 250 respondents, which is only 0.8%. Majority of the respondents are in the third year of their study (37.6%), followed by first year students (34.8%), second year (24.0%) and for those doing their fourth year (3.6%). Most of the respondents are local (55.2%) and international students contributing to about (44.8%).

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Table 4.1: Profile of Respondents
Characteristics (N) (%)

Gender Male Female Age Less than 18 years old 18 - 21 years old 22 - 28 years old 29 years old and more than Nationality Local International Year of First year study Second year Third year Fourth and above

111 139 15 133 100 2 138 112 87 60 94 9

44.4 55.6 6.0 53.2 40.0 0.8 55.2 44.8 34.8 24.0 37.6 3.6

4.2: Description of Independent Variables (IVs) Table 4.2 will be discussing about independent variables which are tangibility, assurance, reliability, responsiveness and empathy, measured in interval scale.

For tangibility, majority with (54.8%) agreed with the statement of “decoration and overall cleaning” which means respondents are satisfied with the decoration and cleanness of the university but 44.0% disagreed with the statement that says “there is quality of computers in the labs and advanced softwares” and that there is no enough car packing space, hence the school management should look deep into these issues and try to improve the softwares in the university computers so that students can use those softwares for academic purposes. Furthermore the school should find more
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space for students and even staff to pack their cars as almost each and every semester more students are being enrolled in the university and number of students with cars increases.

For assurance, most of the respondents agreed that there is a very good relationship between lectures and students that is to say “lectures are friendly and courteous” with (57.2%) and “communication of lectures” with (56.0%), therefore students are satisfied with the way how lectures treat them. There were also 14 respondents (5.6%) showing negative opinions about the courteousness and friendliness of UCSI staff.

For reliability, 128 respondents (51.2%) agreed that the teaching capability of lectures is good, but 34.4% also argued that the registrations are not done on time and there are many errors involved. The school need also to find ways in which registrations can be done well on time with less errors involved.

For responsiveness, 110 respondents (44.0%) agreed to the statement that it is easy to get information needed but they had a negative opinion on how their complaints and queries are dealt with (35.6%). Therefore the school management or the staff who are involved in dealing with students complaints must improve in the way they handle student queries and give back feedback on the specific complaints well on time.

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Lastly for empathy, 134 respondents (53.6%) agreed to the statement that “lectures are sympathetic and supportive to the student‟s needs” and 83 respondents (33.2%) disagreed to the statement that “access to computer facilities and study room to accommodate the student convenience”. Therefore the time given for students to use the study rooms and computer facilities should be increased so that students can be able to do their work and finish it without time limitation.

Table 4.2: Itemization of Independent Variables
Strongly Disagree Independent Variables Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree

Tangibility T1: Neat and professional appearance of lectures. T2: Building appearance and comfort of classrooms. T3: Decoration and overall cleaning. T4: The degree to which syllabus is up to date. T5: Quality of computers in the lab and advanced. T6: Access to the internet and student email. T7: Number of courses

N (%) 3 (1.2)

N (%) 14 (5.6)

N (%)

N (%)

N (%)

103 (41.2) 114 (45.6) 16 (6.4)

9 (3.6)

41 (16.4)

84 (33.6)

99 (39.6) 17 (6.8)

1 (0.4)

25 (10.0)

87 (34.8) 111 (44.4) 26 (10.4)

2 (0.8)

30 (12.0)

85 (34.0) 104 (41.6) 29 (11.6)

55 (22.0)

55 (22.0)

65 (26.0)

52 (20.8) 23 (9.2)

23 (9.2)

47 (18.8)

74 (29.6)

80 (32.0) 26 (10.4)

7 (2.8)

20 (8.0) 29

92 (36.8) 104 (41.6) 27 (10.8)

offered. T8: Availability of car parking. Assurance A9: Security in the campus. A10: Communication with lecturers A11: Academic credentials of lectures. A12: Lectures research efficiency. A13: Lectures are friendly and courteous. A14: Staffs are friendly and courteous. Reliability R15: Registration is timely and error-free. R16: Records are kept accurately. R17: General reliability of lecturers. R18: Staff sincere interest in solving student‟s problem. R19: The university provides its services at a time promises to do so. R20: Sincerity of lecture in holding student problem. R21: Teaching capability of lectures. 28 (11.2) 58 (23.2) 82 (32.8) 60 (24.0) 22 (8.8) 9 (3.6) 16 (6.4) 107 (42.8) 89 (35.6) 29 (11.6) 60 (24.0) 56 (22.4) 75 (30.0) 47 (18.8) 12 (4.8)

5 (2.0)

22 (8.8)

83 (33.2) 105 (42.0) 35 (14.0)

6 (2.4)

15 (6.0)

101 (40.4)

98 (39.2) 30 (12.0)

5 (2.0)

24 (9.6)

105 (42.0) 100 (40.0) 16 (6.4)

8 (3.2)

24 (9.6)

75 (30.0) 117 (46.8) 26 (10.4)

14 (5.6)

44 (17.6)

86 (34.4)

86 (34.4) 20 (8.0)

17 (6.8)

38 (15.2)

85 (34.0)

85 (34.0) 25 (10.0)

9 (3.6)

25 (10.0)

99 (39.6)

93 (37.2) 24 (9.6)

21 (8.4)

37 (14.8) 100 (40.0)

73 (29.2) 19 (7.6)

22 (8.8%)

36 (14.4)

98 (39.2)

76 (30.4) 18 (7.2)

9 (3.6%)

21 (8.4)

97 (38.8)

98 (39.2) 25 (10.0)

8 (3.2)

34 (13.6)

80 (32.0)

96 (38.4) 32 (12.8)

30

Responsiveness RS22: Availability of staff to assist student. RS23: Availability of lectures to assist student RS24: Easy to get information needed. RS25: Channels for expressing student complaints. RS26: Complaints and queries are dealt efficiently and promptly. Empathy E27: Administration has student‟s best interest at heart. E28: Staffs are willing to give individual attention. E29: Access to computer facilities and study room to accommodate the student convenience. E30: Lectures are sympathetic and supportive to the student‟s needs. E31: The staffs are fair and unbiased in their treatment of individual student. E32: Lectures are fair and unbiased in their treatment of individual student. 23 (9.2) 56 (22.4) 92 (36.8) 67 (26.8) 12 (4.8) 16 (6.4) 39 (15.6) 99 (39.6) 74 (29.6) 22 (8.8)

4 (1.6)

19 (7.6)

84 (33.6) 107 (42.8) 36 (14.4)

18 (7.2)

37 (14.8)

85 (34.0)

85 (34.0) 25 (10.0)

37 (14.8)

35 (14.0) 105 (42.0)

61 (24.4) 12 (4.8)

36 (14.4)

53 (21.2)

90 (36.0)

61 (24.4) 10 (4.0)

23 (9.2)

50 (20.0)

84 (33.6)

78 (31.2) 15 (6.0)

32 (12.8)

51 (20.4)

78 (31.2)

65 (26.0) 24 (9.6)

9 (3.6)

24 (9.6)

83 (33.2) 115 (26.0) 19 (7.6)

19 (7.6)

30 (12.0) 103 (41.2)

79 (31.6) 19 (7.6)

17 (6.8)

21 (8.4)

96 (38.4)

83 (33.2) 33 (13.2)

Cronbach‟s alpha =0.931; Mean = 104.01; Standard Deviation = 21.023
31

4.3 Description of Dependent Variable (DV) Table 4.3 discuss about the dependent variable which is the overall satisfaction of UCSI students. From the table, 116 (46.4%) are satisfied with the decision to attend the university and 30.4% said that if given a second time to choose a university they would not enrol in this university. Hence the school must look into ways in which students can be satisfied when enrolled in this university, and maybe ask the students on how or what they want so that the overall satisfaction of students can be increased hence sustaining its competitive advantage and creating value for current and potential students.

Table 4.3: Itemization of Dependent Variable
Items Student Satisfaction C1: I am satisfied with my decision to attend this University. C2: If have a choice to do it all over again, I still will enrol in this University. C3: My choice to enrol in this University is a wise one. C4: I am happy on my decision to enrol in this University. C5: I did the right decision when I decided to enrol in this University. Strongly Disagree N (%) 11 (4.4) Disagree N (%) 36 (14.4) Neutral N (%) 87 (34.8) Agree N (%) 93 (37.2) Strongly Agree N (%) 23 (9.2)

28 (11.2)

48 (19.2)

93 (37.2)

64 (25.6)

17 (6.8)

12 (4.8)

42 (16.8)

98 (39.2)

76 (30.4)

22 (8.8)

15 (6.0)

42 (16.8)

92 (36.8)

74 (29.6)

27 (10.8)

17 (6.8)

38 (15.2)

94 (37.6)

72 (28.8)

29 (11.6)

Cronbach‟s alpha = 0.946; Mean = 4.68; Standard Deviation = 15.97
32

4.4 Descriptive Statistics and Reliability test of Independent Variables (IVs) and Dependent Variable (DV) For the dependent variable : student satisfaction contains five items, while for the independent variable service quality each of the dimensions starting with tangibility contains 8 items, assurance 6 items, while reliability 7 items, responsiveness 5 items and empathy 6 items ,totalling 32 items.

Table 4.4: Descriptive statistics, Reliability test of selected independent variables
Cronbach’s Alpha IV Tangibility Assurance Reliability Responsiveness Empathy DV Student Satisfaction .946 15.9720 4.67876 -.201 -.321 .839 .852 .853 .846 .860 25.8200 20.6720 22.7360 15.7720 19.0120 5.47829 4.13483 5.16576 4.03101 4.76726 .091 -.418 -.204 -.124 -.277 -.430 .522 -.089 -.300 .013 Mean Std. Deviation Skewness Kurtosis

In Table 4.4, it shows that the mean of student satisfaction was (15.97 on a 5-point scale) followed by service quality with an overall mean of 20.80 (on a 5-point scale). For each dimension, tangibility scores the highest (25.83 on a 5-point scale), followed by reliability (22.74 on a 5-point scale), assurance (20.67 on a 5-point scale), empathy (19.01 on a 5-point scale and responsiveness (15.77 on a 5-point scale). Reliability coefficients of all variables included representing all dimensions
33

for service quality are also presented in this table. All alpha coefficients are above 0.75. Previous research done by Mahiah.et al. (2006) supports this study which means these instruments are reliable. For example reliability is 0.853 compared with Mahiah study (0.851), empathy 0.860 (0.886), assurance 0.852 (0.917), responsiveness 0.846 (0.919) and tangibility 0.841 (0.908). The results on skewness and kurtosis shows that the data is normally distributed that is normally distributed data must be +1 to -1.

4.5 Hypotheses Testing There are seven hypotheses to be tested which include three different types of analysis. These include Independent Sample T-Test, Pearson Correlation coefficient and Regression Analysis. In this research, the hypothesis will be accepted if p 0.05 and rejected if p>0.05.

Ha1: There is a positive relationship between reliability and student’s satisfaction. Pearson correlation coefficient was computed to identify the relationship between reliability and student satisfaction. From the results, it is found that there was a moderate relationship between reliability and student satisfaction as r = 0.476, n= 250, p=0.000. Since p 0.05, it is proven that there is a significant relationship between reliability and student satisfaction. Hence H a1 was accepted. The result is consistent with the finding by Ham and Hayduk (2003) and Bigne et al. (2003) that

34

found that there is a positive relationship between service quality (reliability) and student satisfaction.

Ha2: There is a positive relationship between tangibility and student satisfaction. Pearson Correlation coefficient was conducted to identify the relationship between tangibility and student satisfaction. From the results, it is found that there was a moderate relationship between tangibility and student satisfaction as r = 0.420, n=250, p= 0.000. Since p< 0.05, there is a significant relationship between tangibility and student satisfaction. Hence Ha2 was accepted. The result is consistent with the finding by Ham and Hayduk (2003) and Bigne et al. (2003) that found that there is a positive relationship between service quality (tangibility) and student satisfaction.

Ha3: There is a positive relationship between responsiveness and student satisfaction. Pearson Correlation coefficient was computed to identify the relationship between responsiveness and student satisfaction. From the results, it is found that there was a moderate relationship between responsiveness and student satisfaction r= 0.486, n=250, p=0.000. Since p…...

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