n South African Journal of Higher Education - 'What you see is what you get' : service quality, students' perceptions and satisfaction at South African universities

Volume 23, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Tertiary institutions play a major role in providing relevant education that best meets the needs of the various constituencies served; and an assessment of factors that influence students' choices and satisfaction is thus useful. This article examines the gap between students' perceived experience and the importance they hold of service delivery, and attempts to identify possible predictors of overall satisfaction with their university. Survey data was obtained from 391 students from two Universities of Technology in South Africa. A major finding revealed that students' perceived experience of service delivery is significantly lower than what they considered important in their universities. Perceptions of readiness for change, intention to leave, trust in management and support, living arrangements (accommodation) and academic performance emerged as significant predictors of students' overall satisfaction with the university, explaining up to 30 per cent of its variance. Practical implications, limitations and suggestions for future studies were articulated.

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