Student's satisfaction – measurement, models, implications
Some changes in the environment that contemporary societies struggle with determine the level of quality of their life, make forecasting the future more complicated, and generate unprecedented challenges. The sources of the greatest threats and challenges for contemporary universities are related to international competition in the higher education sector, student mobility and the growing popularity of non-formal and informal learning paths. These and many other conditions for the functioning of modern universities imply the need for a holistic approach to students, and focus not only on educational aspects, but also are related to their personal and social development, and provide them with a sense of care and support from the university during their studies. It should result in students' satisfaction with their studies and a sense of conviction about making the right decision related to education at the higher level as the best path of education. The main purpose of the monograph is to identify determinants and consequences of students’ satisfaction, measure its level and develop models. The theoretical part of the work presents, inter alia, the current situation of Polish higher education, controversy related to the contemporary face of Polish universities, demographic and technological determinants of forecasts for universities, the most relevant aspects related to the quality of education, with particular emphasis on modern teaching methods, as well as the features and expectations of generation Z. The attention is also paid to contemporary concepts connected with managing university relations with students as the key group of their stakeholders. Due to the significant role of students’ satisfaction as the subject of this monograph, various ways of interpreting this concept, its determinants and consequences, methods of measurement and models, as well as benefits for the university resulting from the satisfaction of this group of its stakeholders are presented. The empirical part of the work features the assumptions, results and conclusions of the author's qualitative and quantitative research. The first, exploratory one, was carried out using the in-depth individual interview (IDI) and focus group interview (FGI) methods. The purpose of the qualitative studies was to identify the factors and consequences of students’ satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The objective of quantitative research was primarily to determine the level of students’ satisfaction with their studies, determinants and successors of this phenomenon, as well as to create models of students’ satisfaction. An attempt was also made to define the causes and consequences of dissatisfaction and post-purchase dissonance among students related to their studies. The research was carried out on a sample of 1,600 students from four universities, by means of the method of an auditorium survey. In the research such specialized methods of measuring satisfaction and loyalty of respondents as CSI, NPS, and IPA analysis were applied.
The author's research has confirmed many of the research results presented in the theoretical part of the monograph, especially those relating to the factors of students’ satisfaction and its consequences. The most important differences between the research results presented in the literature and those obtained by the author concern the timetable, which turned out to be the most important factor for the author's respondents, and did not appear in any of the studies presented in the theoretical part. The most significant satisfaction factors in the author's research was also the majors offer (not present in the research of other authors).
The main conclusions resulting from the secondary and primary research carried out by the author focus on the need to meet the expectations of students with regard to the quality of education that will enable them to undertake satisfactory work, as well as in the scope of such organization of studies, with particular emphasis on the timetable, so that they can take up a job while studying at the same time. As the author's research shows, the precise expectations of students denote maturity of most of them, expressed in responsible planning of their education, with a view to maximize the resulting benefits in their professional and personal life. The striving to meet their expectations, necessary in the context of students’ satisfaction, is also associated with the need to develop study programs, curricula and majors very important for students, based on monitoring of current changes in the labor market and related to professional forecasts and scenarios. It is also extremely important to use appropriate forms of educating students, based on the use of activating methods (e.g. PBL, RBL), while reducing the number of hours spent on the so-called an indicative form of education, which is a classic lecture (the least effective in terms of the results of education). The effectiveness of activities aimed at meeting the expectations of students and achieving their satisfaction and loyalty is directly related to the multi-area skills and competences of academic teachers, as well as their friendly and positive attitude towards students, which is repeatedly emphasized at work, as well as their commitment which is inspiring and motivating.