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An investigation of tertiary education services and the export industry to full-fee paying Asian students with a focus on the expectations of and satisfaction with the quality of Australian tertiary education services

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posted on 2022-09-04, 23:16 authored by Rosemary V A Gatfield

Marketing education services to Asian countries is a relatively new phenomena which has received limited attention in the Australian literature and has generated only a small amount of research. The literature reveals the need for expertise not only by educationalists but also by marketing specialists to ensure high quality education servicing. In this way, satisfaction experienced by Asian students with the quality of tertiary education services may translate into future recommendations to prospective overseas students to study in Australia.

An exploratory study was undertaken to measure whether participating Asian students had been satisfied with the quality of Australian tertiary education support services which was measured against the base line of Australian tertiary students' satisfaction with services. To narrow the focus of the study, teaching/learning was excluded from tertiary education services. These services were considered to consist of 22 items contained in the widely utilised survey instrument, SERVQUAL. This was used to conduct the investigation. These 22 items of service included items such as equipment, physical facilities, record keeping and staff responses to students. The 22 items were clustered into five basic service elements of 'tangibles', 'reliability', 'responsiveness', 'assurance' and 'empathy'. Using the SERVQUAL survey clusters, the degree of Asian and Australian students' satisfaction with education services, as well as the degree of dissatisfaction, was measured across the five elements.

Forty full -fee paying Asian. and forty Australian, students undertaking first year studies at a South -East Queensland university completed a questionnaire of 22 questions relating to five elements of service. Responses by Asian and Australian students were compared to ascertain which elements of service were considered more, or less, important to each group and what degree of satisfaction/dissatisfaction was experienced with the services.

The questionnaire revealed that all students experienced dissatisfaction with the five service elements. indicating a need for Australian higher education institutions to provide better services for all students. increasing since the introduction of full -fee payment where value for money becomes an imperative. Further longitudinal quantitative and qualitative research are suggested that might result in higher quality higher education services which target the needs of Asian students.

The limitations of using the SERVQUAL instrument for measuring education support services is discussed. It is suggested that this instrument may prove useful in future studies if adaptation to offset the generic nature of the survey is achieved through specific tailoring of the instrument to tertiary education requirements.



Central Queensland University

Place of Publication

Rockhampton, Queensland

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No


Patrick Danaher

Thesis Type

  • Master's by Coursework Thesis

Thesis Format

  • With publication