Examining student satisfaction in universities in Uganda using the European Customer Satisfaction Index (ECSI) Model
Student Satisfaction (SS) is fundamental for the survival of any university because it may enhance student loyalty, the recruitment of students, student performance and completion rates. In addition, it boosts the image of a university, giving the university competitive advantage, hence enhancing its profitability. I examined SS in universities in Uganda using the European Customer Satisfaction Index (ECSI) model. Thus I developed four hypotheses (H1-H4). H1 was to the effect that University Image (UI), Student Expectations (SE), Service Quality of Infrastructure and Tangible Service Elements (SQITSE), Service Quality of People and Processes (SQPP) and Perceived Value of Investment (PVI) positively predict SS. H2 was to the effect that UI, SE, SQITSE and SQPP positively predict PVI. H3 was to the effect that UI, SS and SQPP positively predict SL; and H4 was to the effect that UI positively predicts SE. I developed a self-administered questionnaire to which a sample of 704 students from seven universities in Uganda responded. I analyzed the validity and reliability of my constructs using confirmatory factor analysis and Cronbach alpha respectively. In addition, I analyzed my data in three levels; univariate, bivariate and multivariate. At univariate level, I used frequencies, percentages and means. At bivariate level, I used the student’s Two-sample t Test, Analysis of Variance, Pearson’s linear correlation, scatter graphs and simple linear regression (SLR). Finally at multivariate level I used multiple linear regression (MLR). In particular, I tested hypotheses H1, H2 and H3 using MLR and H4 using SLR. I confirmed all my four hypotheses (H1-H4) except that in H1, one construct SQITSE did not predict SS. I concluded that SS depended on UI, SE, SQPP and PVI. In turn PVI depended on UI, SE, SQITSE and SQPP. Furthermore that SL depended on UI, SS and SQPP and finally that SE depended on UI. Based on my conclusions, I supported the ECSI model in explaining SS and recommended that in order to enhance SS in universities in Uganda, university authorities need to allocate resources to the predictors of SS (i.e., UI, SE, SQPP and PVI) which in turn would enhance SL.