Quality_ University Image_ Satisfaction and Loyalty

Document Sample
Quality_ University Image_ Satisfaction and Loyalty Powered By Docstoc
					                                                European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                         ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

 Quality, University Image, Satisfaction and Loyalty : A Study of a Distance Graduate
                                    Study Program

                                         Suciati1 Nur Hidayah2

        1. Graduate Study Programs, Universitas Terbuka (Indonesia Open University)

        2. Muhammadiyah University, Jakarta, Indonesia
            E-mail of the corresponding author :

As competitions between universities to attract students become intense, securing student loyalty has
become an important issue in higher education. Universitas Terbuka (Indonesia Open University), for
28 years has enjoyed the status as the ‘only’ distance education institution in Indonesia, however this
condition will change with the implementation of a new legislation by the Government 2012,
permitting universities to offer e-learning programs, and dual-methods education programs.
Competition for students may become an issue to be addressed creatively by UT. Student loyalty is a
dynamic phenomenon with many factors playing significant roles. This study explains the effect of
students’perception of program quality, brand image, and student satisfaction on student loyalty. This
survey was conducted during 2011, involving 108 graduates of the Graduate Study Program at
Universitas Terbuka. The findings demonstrate that student loyalty is influenced by the program
quality, brand (the university) image and student satisfaction, individually or simultaneously. Program
quality does not have a direct effect on student loyalty, while brand image and student satisfaction have
direct effect on loyalty. However, program quality does influence student satisfaction.
Keywords: quality, university image, satisfaction, loyalty, graduate study.

1. Introduction
Student loyalty is becoming an increasingly important and strategic issue for higher education
institutions (Helgesen & Nesset, 2007; Sauer & O’Donnell, 2006). Competitions between universities
to attract students become intense. Especially with the diminishing budget from the government,
universities have to find revenue from students tuition. To achieve this purpose, many universities
have actively launched promotiomalefforts to uplift the image of the university and to attract new
students. Nevertheles the efforts of recruiting new students should not neglect students who are
already in the system. To put it differently, maintaining the loyalty of students in the pipeline is not
less important than new students recruitment. Research in the business sector indicates that retaining
existing students (customer) and ‘selling additional products’ (to the same students), is less costly than
the acqusition for new recruits (Chu,Tsai, & Ho, 2007; Pendharkar, 2009).

As an open and distance education institution, Universitas Terbuka (The Indonesia Open University)
has confronted similar challenges at national and global levels. Under the stipulation of the (new
government legislation) Education Constitution 2012, which allows and encourages universities in
Indonesia to offer study programs in dual modes system and e-learning programs, Universitas
Terbuka is nolonger enjoy the status as the ‘only’ distance education provider in Indonesia. With the
availlability of e-learning programs offered by other ‘conventional’ public and private universities,
UT students may at a certain phase of their learning decides to transfer to other universities. Indonesia
has been a potential and promising market for universities abroad. In the long run obviously UT will
also face competitions with similar educational programs from other countries, Information indicating
student unwillingness to re-register or taking other study program of the university, besides reducing
the revenues for the university, may also an indication of some problem with the university service.

                                                European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                         ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

Student loyalty has a dynamic nature, subjected to many factors, such as perception of quality (Patric,
2004), brand image (Beckwith & Lehman, 1975) and satisfaction (Hoyt & Howell, 2011) . The
influencing factors are termed as the ‘drivers’ of loyalty (Helgesen & Nesset, 2007). The student
perception of the university service quality may influence satisfaction and their loyalty to the
university (Helgesen & Nesset, 2007), in the forms of intent to ‘re-register’ or take a higher level of
study program offered by the university. University reputation as an overall attitude held by students
also has a positive impact on customer satisfaction (Johnson et al., 2001; Oliver, 1997). Students hold
a certain perception about the university, whether the university has a good reputation or not.
Student perception of reputation is very important to attract and retain students (Standifird, 2005).
Based on this schema of thinking, this study aims to explore the dynamics of student loyalty, in
relation to program quality, the brand image of the institution, and student satisfaction.

2. Literature Review

Studies of loyalty and customer satisfaction for goods and service is abundant (Zeithaml, Bitner &
Gremler, 2006). Structural models to explore customer satisfaction, loyalty and related antecedents,
such as product or service quality and brand image have been extensively used. Some principles
derived from these studies will benefit the efforts to market education, and in exploring whether the
principles and findings in the business sector are transferable to education domain, or on the contrary,
there is a different dynamics in the education sector compared to goods and service in business. In
education institution students are the major customers, however it should be understood that other
stakeholders such as parents, employers, and the government, also constitute education customers
(Marzo-Navarro, Pedraja-Iglesias, & Rivera-Torres, 2005). In this study students become the source
of data and information.

2.1. Program Quality

Quality is characterized as an overall customer cognitive judgement about the excellence of a product
or service across several areas, such as performance, courtesy, reliability, responsiveness, etc. (Petric,
2004; Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry,1988). Drawing from Parasuraman’ domains of quality, this
study uses the concept of ‘program quality’ to include the dimensions of product and service. The
student perception of the program quality will likely influence their satisfaction toward the program
itself and the university in general, and ultimately it will determine their decision whether to
discontinue or ‘re-purchase’ the service. If they decide to continue using the service, they may plan to
reregister for the following semester, take another program, or attend a higher level program in the
university. Program quality includes indicators related to the learning service typical of distance
education program, incorporating Parasuraman’s SERVQUAL factors of empathy, assurance,
responsiveness and reliability. In a distance education system, it is imperative for students to have
good learning skills and persistence to study independently and resourcefully. However, these qualities
alone may not be sufficient for effective learning, since students will also need supportive and
condusive learning environment. In this respects, program quality will incorporate students perception
of the learning material, the overall learning experience in face-to-face and online tutorials,
assessments, the thesis advising, and thesis defence.

2.2. Brand image
Brand identity for a university refers to how the institution wants to be, and is perceived by
prospective students, the existing students, alumni, legislators, and the public (Lawlor, 1998). To
enlarge scope and reach the targeted students, many universities intentionally develop a unique image.
The Indonesia Open University builds an image by introducing a motto ‘making higher education

                                                European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                         ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

open to all,’which is appealing to prospective students who lack the opportunity to study due to work
responsibilities or distance .
Brand is also understood as a reputation, the principles and goals the organization aspiring for, and
as what an individual may expect when using the services of the organization (MacMillan, Money,
Downing, & Hillenbrand, 2005). The student’s perception of university reputation is very important
to attract and retain students (Standifird, 2005).

2.3. Student Satisfaction
Various definitions of customer satisfaction essentially refer to the judgement of the service
performance as pleasurable or disappointing to one’s expectation (Kotler & Keller, 2006; Oliver,
1997). In other words, customer satisfaction represents a summary of affective state or a subjective
judgement based on the customer’s experiences compared with expectations. In education domain,
Elliot and Healy (2001) proposed that student satisfaction is an attitude that results from the evaluation
of the students’ experiences regarding educational services.

2.4. Student Loyalty
Customer loyalty in understood in different ways (Lam, Shankar, Erramilli, & Murthy, 2004; Oliver,
1997). As an example,Oliver defines customer loyalty as “a deeply held commitment to rebuy or
repatronize a preferred product or service consistently in the future, despite the fact that situational
influences and marketing efforts having the potential to cause switching behavior” (Oliver, 1997, p.
392). whereas Lam et al. (2004) see it as “a buyer’s overall attachment or deep commitment to a
product, service, brand, or organization” (p. 294). An educational institution benefits from having
loyal students not only when students are still within the study program, but also long after they
complete the program. In other words, ‘student loyalty refers to loyalty both during and after a
student’s period of study at an educational institution’ (Hennig-Thurau et al., 2001).

3. Methods

The study aims to test the causal relationship between perceived program quality, university image,
and student loyalty. This study employs a two-step confirmatory analysis to test the hypotheses of the
theoretical model shown in Figure 1. Path analysis will be used to test the causal relationship of the
variables. The data was collected using questionnaires incorporating 58 item measures of 4 variables.
A four-point Likert scale was used, with a range of 1 as ‘strongly disagree’, and 4 as ‘strongly agree’.
The questions were developed based on their experience of learning in a distance education institution.
One hundred and eight students graduating from graduate programs at Universitas Terbuka within the
period of 2011 returned the questionnaires. Seventy -six percent of the students are male. The means
age of the respondent is 42, with a range of 29 to 60.

Measures for variables in the questionnaire include questions based on the indicators. The program
quality incorporates statements such as ‘tutors are competent to conduct online tutorials’, ‘face-to-face
tutorials are conducted according to the academic schedule’, ‘tutors respond promptly to students
queries and difficulties’, ‘the assessment scheme is fair’, ‘the (printed) learning material has sufficient
depth of subtance,’ ‘the learning material is relevant to real problems’, and ‘the thesis advisors gives
feedback not more than a week’. The university image is measured by questions such as ‘UT has a
distinctive characteristic compared to conventional universities’, ‘UT is well-known by the society’, ‘I
am proud to be an alumnae of UT’, and ‘UT trains students to be independent and self-initiated
learners.’ Satisfaction is measured by statements such as, ‘ I am satisfied with the quality of the
tutors,’ ‘I am satisfied that I reap more benefit compared to the cost’, and ‘ I am satisfied that learning
at UT broaden my perspectives as learners’. The loyalty indicators include statements such as, ‘I
chose to study at UT with a belief it will help me to reach my goal’, ‘If I am offered an option to study

                                                 European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                          ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

by several universities, I will choose UT’, ‘I prefer to study at UT because it produces high
independency to work and learn’, ‘I often share my good experience of learning at UT with my
friends’, ‘I recommend my friends to study at UT’, ‘If I have the means I will study for a higher
degree at UT.’ The reliability of the instrument is reported in Table 1.

                                                Table 1.
                                  Summary of Alpha and Average Means

                       Variable          Number of         Alpha           Average
                                         Items                             Mean
                       Learning          16                0.83            3.2

                       Brand Image       13                0.83            3.2

                       Satisfaction      14                0.89            3.2

                       Loyalty           15                0.97            3.3

4. Findings

4.1. Mean scores of variables and implications

Table 2 reporting the descriptive data of the variables. The means of the variable varies due also to the
number of question items. Based on the number of questions for each variable, the maximum expected
score for service quality is 64, university image 52, satisfaction 56, and loyalty 60.

Table 2. Statistics of the variables

                                        Minimu     Maximu                  Deviatio Varianc
                                  N     m          m              Mean     n        e
             Program              108   34.00      64.00          50.435   5.50     30.248
             Quality                                              2
             University           108   28.00      52.00          41.175   5.01      25.193
             Image                                                9
             Satisfaction         108   32.00      56.00          44.722   5.30      28.072
             Loyalty              108   30.00      60.00          48.620   6.43      41.453
             Valid N (list        108

The distance between the means and the maximum expected score can be visually depicted as follows.

4.2. Mean score for program quality

The mean score for program quality is included in a‘good’ category. However the mean score is still
far from the category ‘very good’ as depicted by the following figure.

                                                  European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                           ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

   Good                                                                         Very Good
   46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64
Figure1. The range of score for category ‘good’ and ‘very good’ for service quality

The range of score for ‘good’ and ‘very good’ category is 48 to 64. The mean score 50.4 is closer to
the low end of the scale than the high end of the scale. There are 13.7 points difference to ‘very good’
compared to 1.6 difference to 48 as the lowest score for ‘good’ category.

4.3. Mean score for the university image

        Mean score for university image is 41.18, which indicates a positive judgement.

                      Strong       41.18                                             Very Strong

            37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52
        Figure 2. The range of score for ‘good’ and ‘very good’ category for university image.

The range of score for ‘good’ and ‘very good’ category is 39 to 52. The mean score 41.18 is closer to
the low end of the scale than the high end of the scale. There are 10.82 points difference to ‘very good’
compared to 2.18 difference to 39 as the lowest score for ‘good’ category.

4.4. Mean score for satisfaction

        The mean score for satisfaction is 44.72 which falls within the ‘satisfied’ category.

         Satisfied         44.72                                                   Very Satisfied

            42       43 44        45 46 47 48 49 50               51 52 53 54 55 56

       Figure 3. The range of score for ‘good’ and ‘very good’ category for student satisfaction

The range of quality score for ‘good’ and ‘very good’ category is 42 to 56. The mean score 44.72 is
closer to the low end of the scale than the high end of the scale. There are 11.28 points difference to
‘very good’ compared to 2.72 difference to 42 as the lowest score for ‘good’ category.

4.5. Mean score for student loyalty

The mean score for student loyalty is 48.62, which is closer to the low end of the scale than the high
end of the scale. There is 11.38 points difference to ‘very loyal’ compared to 2.62 difference to 45 as
the lowest score for ‘loyal’ category. This score implies the loyalty level of students is far from being

         Loyal            48.62                                                   Very Loyal

              46     47   48      495   50   51   52    53   54    55   56   57     58   59    60

       Figure 4. The range of score for ‘loyal’ and ‘very loyal’ category for student satisfaction

                                               European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                        ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

Based on the size of mean scores, all variables are still far from the optimum score. The scores
represent students perception and expectation . Based on the proportion of distance from the mean
score to the optimum score, program quality shows the farthest distance, which is 85 %, compared to
the university image (83%), satisfaction (80%), and loyalty (75%). Program quality seems to be the
first pick for improvement.

5. Model analysis

 Analysis for the path model is conducted in several steps; (1) based on correlation matrix suggests a
revised a causal model, (2) conduct levels of multiple regression analysis for the full model, and (3)
analyze the path model.

                                                Table 3
                                    Correlation Matrix for Variable

           Variable                     Program           University   Satisfaction       Loyalty
                                        quality           Image        (Y2)               (Z)
                                        (X1)              (Y1)
           Program quality (X1)         1                 .619**       .683**             .417**
           University image (Y1)        .619**            1            .657**             .575**
           Satisfaction (Y2)            .683**            .657**       1                  .622**
           Loyalty (Z)                  .417**            .575**       .622**             1

         Note ** p< 0.001
               n = 108

Table 3 shows that the correlations between variables are positive and significant, even though the
strength of the correlations, which are less than .70, are moderate.

5.1. Path Model


                                                        Satisfaction                  Loyalty


                                               Figure 5. Path Model

To determine the direct, indirect effect, and the total effect of program quality (X1), University image
(Y1), and Student satisfaction (Y2), on Loyalty, path analysis is employed using the following

                                               European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                        ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

Ho: pi = 0 (there is no direct influence of exogenous variables on endogenous variables).
HA: pi > 0 (there is a direct effect of exogenous variables on endogenous variables).
To test the hypotheses using path analysis requires three equations as follows.
      1. Y1 = p1X1 + e1

      2. Y2 = p2X1 + p3Y1 + e2

      3. Z = p5X1 + p6Y1 + p4Y2 + e3

5.2. Effect of program quality on university image

                                              Table 4
                                           Model Summary

                 Model        R           R          Adjusted R        Std. Error of
                                          Square     Square            the Estimate
                 1            .619a       .384       .378              3.95881
                 a. Predictors: (Constant), program quality

Equation 1, Y1 = p1X1 + e1, based on the Model Summary of Table 4, R Square = 0.378, then e1 = √
(1-0.387) = 0.783, which means that 78.3 % of the university image variable cannot be predicted by
program quality.

                                               Table 5
                         Coefficients of Program quality on University image

        Model                          Unstandardized          Standardized       t           Sig.
                                       Coefficients            Coefficients
                                       B         Std.          Beta
        1       (Constant)             12.66     3.530                            3.587       .001
               Program quality         .565      .070          .619               8.124       .000
        a. Dependent Variable: University image

Table 5 shows that Standardized Beta Coefficients = 0.619 is p1 or path coefficients in equation 1 =
b1, that is the value of the direct influence of program quality on the university image. Then equation
1 becomes Y1 = 0.619 X1 + e1.

5.3. Effect analysis for Program quality and university image on satisfaction

                                              Table 6
                                           Model Summary

                    Model      R          R             Adjusted R       Std. Error of
                                          Square        Square           the Estimate
                    1          .745a      .555          .547             3.56645
                    a. Predictors: (Constant), university image, quality

                                              European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                       ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

From Table 6 known R Square 0.555, then e2 = √ (1-0.555) = 0.667, meaning 66.7% of student
satisfaction is not accounted for program quality and university image.

                                               Table 7
                                            F Test Results

        Model                    Sum of         df          Mean           F            Sig.
                                 Squares                    Square
        1        Regression      1668.113       2           834.056        65.573       .000a
                 Residual        1335.554       105         12.720
                 Total           3003.667       107
        a. Predictors: (Constant), program quality, university image
        b. Dependent Variable: student satisfaction

Program quality and university image has a positive and significant simultaneous effect on student
satisfaction, as shown in Table 7.

                                                Table 7
                          Coefficients for program quality, university image
                                        on student satisfaction

             Model                      Unstandardized             Standardized     t           Sig.
                                        Coefficients               Coefficients
                                        B           Std. Error     Beta
             1      (Constant)          6.460       3.368                           1.918       .058
                    Program             .432        .080           .448             5.407       .000
                    University         .400         .088           .379             4.575       .000
             a. Dependent Variable: Student satisfaction

Equation 2, Y2 = p2X1 + p3Y1 + e2, p2 = 0.448 and p3 = 0.379. The path coefficients indicated by
the Standardized Beta Coefficients. Thus, equation 2 becomes Y2 = 0.448X1 + 0.379Y1+ e2.

                                               European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                        ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

5.4. Effect of program quality, university image and satisfaction on Loyalty

                                              Table 9
                                           Model Summary

                     Model        R         R Square     Adjusted      Std. Error of
                                                          R            the Estimate
                     1            .665a     .443         .426          4.87578
                     a. Predictors: (Constant), program quality, university image, and

As shown in Table 9, R Square = 0.443, thus e3 =√ (1- 0.443) = 0.746, meaning that 74.6 % of
student loyalty is not accounted for program quality, university image and satisfaction.

                                                Table 10
                         F test results for Program quality, University image,
                                    Student Satisfaction and Loyalty

        Model                    Sum of         df          Mean           F            Sig.
                                 Squares                    Square
        1        Regression      1963.018       3           654.339        27.524       .000a
                 Residual        2472.417       104         23.773
                 Total           4435.435       107
        a. Predictors: (Constant), program quality, university image, and satisfaction,
        b. Dependent Variable: student loyalty

Table 13 shows that the results of test F = 27.524 > 4, 0000, and the probability is <0.05, which means
program quality, university image, and student satisfaction have a positive and significant
simultaneously effect on Student loyalty of UT’s Graduate Program.

                                               Table 11
                  Coefficients for program quality, university image and satisfaction
                                          on student loyalty

         Model                     Unstandardized            Standardized        t         Sig.
                                   Coefficients              Coefficients
                                   B          Std. Error     Beta
         1    (Constant)           11.804     4.684                              2.520     .013
              Program quality      -.140      .123           -.119               -1.131    .261
              University           .420       .131           .328                3.207     .002
              Satisfaction       .594         .133           .489                4.450     .000
         a. Dependent Variable: Loyalty

Based on the coefficients of Table 11, Equation 3, Z = p5X1 + p6Y1 + p4Y2 + e3 become
Z = - 0.119 X1 + 0.328 Y1 + 0.489 Y2 + e3.

                                                    European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                             ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

5.5. Summary of analysis

The previous equation analysis can be summarized as follows.
   1. Y1 = 0.619 X1 + e1; e1 = 0.783

    2. Y2 = 0.448X1 + 0.379Y1+ e2; e2 = 0.667

    3. Z = - 0.119 X1 + 0.328 Y1 + 0.489 Y2 + e3; e3 = 0.746

Based on the coefficients the path model can be depicted as Figure 6.

            (X1)                                  e2

                            p2=0.448***                       p5= - 0.119                    e3

                                              Satisfaction           p4=0.489***              (Z)

                           p3=0.379 ***                        p6=0.328**
    e1         Image

                                                  Figure 6. Path Model

The path model displays direct and indirect effect through intervening variables Y1 and Y2. The size
of indirect effects through intervening variables is the multiplication of direct influence to and from
intervening variables. Indirect effect of X1 to Y2 via Y1 = p1x p3. Indirect effect of X1 into Z via Y1
= p1x p6 and trough Y2 = p2 x p4, and the indirect effect of Y1 to Z via Y2 = p3 x p4. The total
effect can be determined by adding the direct and indirect effects. The result of the multiplication on
direct effects and indirect effects, and the sum of effects is in Table 12.

                                                     Table 12
                               Direct and Indirect influence between the variables

             Variables         Direct             indirect effects through variable       Total Effects
             X1 – Y1           p1 .619            -                         -             -
             X1 – Y2           p2 .448            (Y1)        .235          -             .683
             Y1 – Y2           p3 .379            -                         -             -
             X1 – Z                p5 .-119       (Y1)        .203          (Y2)   .219   .541
             Y2 – Z            p4 .489            -                         -             -
             Y1 - Z            p6 .328            (Y2)        .185          -             .513

6. Discussion

                                                European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                         ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

It is interesting to note that in this research program quality does not influence student loyalty (p5 = -
0.119, p > 0.05). Research finding examining the relationship between quality and loyalty varies, even
in contradiction. The finding of this research supports the conclusion of Cronin and Taylor (1992) that
quality “ did not appear to have a significant (positive) effect on repurchase intention”, which is an
indicator of loyalty, eventhough (service) quality is an antecedent of satisfaction. The measures of
quality in this research maybe not sensitive and accurate enough to capture program quality nature,
since the instrument for data collection is based on the subjective perception of the alumnae. Cronin
suggested to use ‘the performance-based measure of quality’ to better measure the quality construct.
On the other hand, Boulding et al.(1993) conclude there is a positive effect of quality on repurchase
intention and willingness to recommend.

Program quality appears to have a significant effect on the university image. The program and service
quality experienced by students obviously effect the student perception of the image projected by the
university. The Indonesia Open University holds an image as the ‘one and only’ university in
Indonesia which has ‘saved’ thousands of citizens from inability to pursue higher education, by
employing flexible learning modus. Alumnae often emphatically express appreciation for the
opportunity to study at UT. And yet this ‘savior’ image still needs to be complemented by a
reputation as a university which offers good program and high service quality. In the graduate study
context it is in the forms of smooth processing of academic information needed by students, timely
and quality interaction in tutorials and thesis advising, etc.

Program quality and brand image directly influence student satisfaction. This findings supported other
research on satisfaction. Satisfaction is basically created by student evaluation on their learning
experience, whether the university delivers its promises in terms of program implementation, and the
promise embedded in the image of the university as producer of self-initiative and independent life-
long learners.

Satisfaction and university image have direct influence on loyalty (p4 = 0.489, p6 = 0.328). This
finding supports the currently held belief and findings of other research ((Standifird, 2005; Brown &
Mazzarol). This relationship is crucial. Customer satisfaction is a prerequisite for customer loyalty.
Satisfied customer means good promotion, since they willingly campaign for the university through
‘word of mouth’ to the benefit of the university. Conversely, beware of dissatisfied customers. They
may express their disappointment not only to the university, but also to prospective students and
society at large, to the detriment of the university.

In the marketing theory, quality of services is very influential on the strength of the brand image of the
service provider. Likewise, the quality of service is very influential on customer satisfaction. If the
service is bad, then the customer will be disappointed and will consequently move to a competitor.
Marketing management principles can be applied to marketing education programs with adjustments
in accordance with the characteristics of the institution. Afterall, education is a service industry.
Therefore, employing principles of marketing and service management of the business world, such as
strategy to improve service quality, to build a strong brand image, to bring satisfaction to the
customers and to build customer loyalty , will be very applicable to attract and retain students.

    7. Conclusion

Student loyalty strategically determines university sustainability. This study confirms the relationship
of ‘drivers’ of loyalty, that: a). Student loyalty is influenced by the program quality, the university
image, and student satisfaction; and b). Student loyalty is directly influenced by university image and
student satisfaction. As a consequence, the graduate program of will have to accelerate efforts to
improve the quality of the program and the service to students. In any opportunity, the university need

                                              European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                       ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

to work for strengthening the image and reputation of the university, making the students proud and
confidence with the university.

Without any doubt, the main focus for educational institutions is academic quality, but we can always
learn from Shattock (2004: ix) that “Successful universities are successful primarily because of their
teaching and research, not because of their management, but good management can over time provide
the conditions in which teaching and research can flourish, .... just as poor management can undermine
teaching and research and precipitate institutional decline.” And we may add that good management of
program quality, the university image and student satisfaction will lead to student loyalty , which
mean sustainability and growth.

                                               European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                        ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X


Beckwith, N., & Lehman, D.R. (1975). The importance of halo effects in multi-attribute
     attitude models. Journal of Marketing Research, 11: 265-275.

Boulding, W.,Kalra,A., Staelin, R. And Zeithaml, V. (1993). A dynamic process model of service
     quality: form expectation to behavioral intentions. Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 16,
     December, pp. 7 – 27.

Brown, R.M., & Mazzarol, T.W. (2008). The importance of institutional image to student satisfaction
     and loyalty within higher education. Higher Education, 58, pp 81 – 95, DOI 10.1007/s10734-

Chu, B. H., Tsai, M. S., & Ho, C. S. (2007). Toward a hybrid data mining model for customer
     retention.Knowledge-Based Systems, 20(8), 703–718.

Cronin, J.J, & Taylor, S.S. (1992). Measuring service quality: Re-examination and extension. Journal
     of Marketing, 56, 55 – 68.

Elliot, K.M., & Healy, M. A. (2001). Key factors influencing student satisfaction related to
       recruitment retention. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 10(4), 1-11.

Helgesen, Ø., & Nesset, E. (2007). Images, satisfaction and antecedents: Drivers of student
     loyalty? A case study of a Norwegian university college. Corporate Reputation Review,
     10(1), 38–59.

Hennig-Thurau, T., Langer, M.F. & Hansen, U. (2001). Modeling and managing student loyalty; An
     approach based on the concept of relationship quality. Journal of Service Research, 3(4), 331-
     344. doi:10.1177/109467050134006.

Hoyt, J.E ,& Howell, SL., (2011) Beyond Customer Satisfaction: Reexamining Customer Loyalty to
      Evaluate Continuing Education Program. The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 59:21–
      33, 2011

Johnson, M.S., Sivadas, E., & Garbarino, E. (2001). Customer satisfaction, perceived risk and
     affective commitment: an investigation of directions of influence. Journal of Service Marketing,
     vol. 22 iss:5, pp.353-362.

Kotler, P. & Keller, K. (2006). Marketing Management, 12th Edition, Pearson Education Inc, New

Lam, S.Y., Shankar, V., Erramilli, M.K. & Murthy, B. (2004). Customer value, satisfaction, loyalty,
     and switching costs: An illustration from a business-to-business service context. Journal of the
     Academy of Marketing Science, v. 32 pp. 293-311.doi: 10.1177/0092070304263330

Lawlor, J. (1998). Brand identity. Case Currents, 24(9): 16-23.

MacMillan, K., Money, K., Downing, S., & Hillenbrand, C. (2005). Reputation in relationships:
    Measuring experiences, emotions and behaviors. Corporate Reputation Review, 8(2), 214–232.

Marzo-Navarro, M., Pedraja-Iglesias, M., & Rivera-Torres, P. (2005). A new management element for
     universities: Satisfaction with the offered courses. International Journal of Educational
     Management, 19(6), 505–526

                                                European Journal of Education and Learning, Vol.12, 2012
                                                         ISSN(paper)2668-3318 ISSN(online)2668-361X

Oliver, R.L. (1980). A cognitive model of antecedents and consequences of satisfaction decision.
      Journal of Marketing Research, 17(4), 460-469.

Oliver, R.L. (1997). Satisfaction: A Behavioral Perspective on the Consumer. New York: The
      McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1988). SERVQUAL: A multiple-item scale for
      measuring consumer perceptions of service quality. Journal of Retailing, 64(1), 12–40.

Pendharkar, P. C. (2009). Genetic algorithm based neural network approaches for predicting churn in
     cellular wireless network services. Expert Systems with Applications, 36(3), 6714–6720.

Petrick, J. F. (2004). The roles of quality, value, and satisfaction in predicting cruise passengers’
      behavioral intentions. Journal of Travel Research, 42(4), 397–407.

Sauer, P.L., & O’Donnell, J.B. (2006). The impact of new major offerings on student retention.
      Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 16(2), 135–155.

Shattock, M. (2004). Managing Successful University. Glasgow: Bell & Bain Ltd.

Standifird, S.S. (2005). Reputation among peer academic institutions: An investigation of the US News
      and World Report’s rankings. Corporate Reputation Review, 8(3), 233–244

Zeithaml, V.A., Bitner, M.J., & Gremler, D.D. (2006). Service marketing: Integrating customer focus
      across the firm (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill


Shared By: