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Beyond service quality dimensions in higher education and towards a service contract

Rowley, Jennifer (1997) Beyond service quality dimensions in higher education and towards a service contract. Quality Assurance in Education, 5 (1). pp. 7-14. ISSN 1758-7662

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Abstract

Suggests that an essential prerequisite to the design of instruments for measuring quality in higher education is an appreciation of the complexities associated with the nature of quality measurement and enhancement in higher education. The central role of perceptions and expectations and the complexity of the contributions of the different types of customer are crucial. Explores the following issues: what quality is, which quality is important, and the ownership of quality. Identifies aspects of the educational experience that differentiate education from other service experiences as including exclusivity of access; the role of the customer in the process and the longitudinal nature of the educational experience. Proposes the concept of a service contract, to be established in the first instance with students, as one approach to managing expectations and perceptions in order to generate more positive quality judgements.

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