Students’ opinions about all aspects of academic life are now sought by educational institutions worldwide, generally, in the form of a satisfaction feedback questionnaire. It is this student satisfaction survey, within the context of student satisfaction in JRU Jose Rizal University. In the Philippines, Higher Education (HE) students were considered to be the “primary customers” of a University ,even before they were liable for the payment of “up-front” tuition fees. Students are the direct recipients of the service provided. As if to confirm this status of the “student as customer”, the Commision on Higher Education (CHED) has introduced a National Student Survey. This survey is aimed at first year students to seek their views on a number of aspects of teaching, assessment and support provided by their university and its courses. The results will ultimately be used by the school to produce league tables of university performance. The position of a university in any league tables will impact ultimately on its image. Image has a strong impact on the retention of current students and the attraction of potential students.Indeed recruitment and retention of students has been moved to the top of most universities’ agendas by CHED due to their desire to increase the JRU student population in line with Government targets. Poor retention rates may have adverse funding consequences for University .This paper takes the view that student satisfaction, retention and recruitment are closely linked. Thus student satisfaction has become an extremely important issue for universities and their management. The aim is to try to maximise student satisfaction, minimise dissatisfaction and therefore retain students and so improve the institutions performance across a number of league tables.
Taking these criticisms into consideration the questionnaire used in the satisfaction survey asked only for perceptions of performance of a range of service aspects (as well as importance) but did not aim to collect data associated with expectations. Indeed, the survey questionnaire was designed around the concept of the service-product bundle. This concept is discussed in the next section.
The service-product bundle
The outcome of service delivery is a tangible product, and a “bundle” of goods and services as the product offering .The service-product bundle refers to the inseparable offering of many goods and services including what Jose Rizal University has to offer its students. This bundle consists of three elements: (1) the physical or facilitating goods;
(2) the sensual service provided – the explicit service; and (3) the psychological service – the implicit service.
For a university the facilitating goods include the lectures and tutorials, presentation slides, supplementary handout documents/materials and the recommended module text. It also includes the physical facilities such as the lecture theatres and tutorial rooms and their level of furnishing, decoration, lighting and layout as well as ancillary services such as catering and recreational amenities. The explicit service includes the knowledge levels of staff, staff teaching ability, the consistency of teaching quality irrespective of personnel, ease of making appointments with staff, the level of difficulty of the subject content and the workload. The implicit service includes the treatment of students by staff, including friendliness and approachability, concern shown if the student has a problem, respect for feelings and opinions, availability of staff, capability and competence of staff. It also includes the ability of the university’s environment to make the student feel comfortable, the sense of competence, confidence and professionalism conveyed by the ambience in lectures and tutorials, feeling that the student’s best interest is being served and a feeling that rewards are consistent with the effort put into course works /examinations. All of the above are based...