n SA Journal of Industrial Psychology - Developing a measure for student perspectives on institutional effectiveness in higher education - original research

Volume 44 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0258-5200
  • E-ISSN: 2071-0763



Orientation: This study outlines institutional effectiveness (IE) in higher education (HE) and interrogates its underlying elements from a student perspective. Following a review of contemporary perspectives on student educational outcomes, the study identifies and explores the importance of four pertinent indicators of IE in the context of a South African (SA) higher education institution (HEI). 

Research purpose: This study aimed to explore the structural validity and reliability of the Student Educational Outcomes Effectiveness Questionnaire (SEEQ), administered to students at an SA HEI, collecting data on their perceptions of IE. 

Motivation for the study: Institutional effectiveness is a contested concept in HE and several approaches to define it, using various sets of underpinning elements, can be found. The conceptualisation and measuring of IE within the SA HE sector is a hugely neglected area of research. This study therefore attempted to delineate and to gauge IE, utilising the perceptions and preferences of students at an SA HEI. 

Research design, approach and method: Data for this study were collected using a selfselection sample (N = 807) of students from four schools at the selected HEI. Reliability and exploratory factor analyses were performed to explore the internal consistency and structural validity of the above-mentioned SEEQ. 

Main findings: The reliability of SEEQ is deemed to be acceptable and the validity of the four theoretical constructs (or dimensions) hypothesised in respect of IE from a student perspective were supported. 

Practical/managerial implications: Preliminary empirical evidence suggests that SEEQ could be employed in a cautious manner by HEIs (especially in SA), with a view to gauge IE, as well as to promoting the scholarship and management of institutional performance and student success.

Contribution or value-add: This article presents a multidimensional approach to the depiction and measurement of IE from a student perspective. It makes a handy initial contribution to a grossly under-researched phenomenon in the SA HE sector.

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