oa Journal of Contemporary Management - Factors influencing Generation Y students’ university website usage intentions : a case of selected South African universities

Volume 16 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



The sustainability and survival of universities in the highly competitive local and global markets are increasingly dependent on the effectiveness of a website. This is because university websites serve as an important marketing tool and are considered a primary source of information to all stakeholders, particularly prospective and current students. The number of Generation Y students registering at higher education institutions increases annually. It is therefore essential to understand the factors that influence these students’ university website usage intention. As such, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of perceived trust, satisfaction and attitude on intention to use university websites amongst South African Generation Y students. Self-administered questionnaires were used to survey a convenience sample of 319 Generation Y students registered at the campuses of two Gauteng-based higher education institutions in South Africa. The statistical techniques used to analyse the data included descriptive statistics, Pearson’s product-moment correlation analysis, reliability measures and structural equation modelling. The results of the study suggest that the participants’ perceived satisfaction with university websites has a significant positive influence on their perceived trust in university websites, which, in turn, has a significant positive influence on their attitude towards university websites. Subsequently, attitude towards university websites has a significant positive influence on Generation Y students’ university website usage intention. Understanding the factors that positively influence the sampled participants’ university website usage intention can assist universities in gearing their online marketing strategies more successfully towards this market segment, and in doing so, increase their website penetration rate and student numbers.

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