‘Service quality’ and higher education: investigating Chinese international student and academic perspectives at a UK university

Zhu, Xiaotong and Sharp, John G. (2021) ‘Service quality’ and higher education: investigating Chinese international student and academic perspectives at a UK university. Journal of Further and Higher Education . pp. 1-19. ISSN 0309-877X

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2021.1875202

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‘Service quality’ and higher education: investigating Chinese international student and academic perspectives at a UK university
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Abstract

For a large number of Higher Education institutions in the UK, the recruitment of international students remains vital for economic, political, cultural and educational benefits. Increasing competition within the international student market has encouraged many Higher Education institutions to pay closer attention to the quality of their educational offer, as well as the expectations and experiences of international students themselves. With an aim to present a more insightful picture of this position, this article examines the ‘service quality’ of UK Higher Education through the lens of one group of international students at a single Russell Group institution while also engaging the academic perspective in direct comparison. To achieve this, a mixed-methods research study was carried out at a location in the South East of England, with quantitative survey data collected from a convenience sample of 139 Chinese students and 27 academics, with 11 qualitative follow-up interviews. Results show both consistency and inconsistency between participant perceptions and where those consistencies and inconsistencies may exist. The findings suggest caution when assuming, as is currently prevalent in the context of highly marketised UK Higher Education, that ‘service quality’ of Higher Education can be comprehensively understood and efficiently improved from the student perspective alone.

Keywords:Service quality, International students
Subjects:X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:Professional services > Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute
ID Code:44515
Deposited On:07 Apr 2021 16:01

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