The Relationship between Perceived Distinctive Competencies and Student Satisfaction in Private Higher Education Institutions: The Case of Asia-Pacific International University (AIU)
In this study, the relationship was examined between distinctive competencies and different demographic groups of the target population of Asia-Pacific International University (AIU), a higher educational institution in Thailand. In the research, the relationship also was explored between the university’s distinctive competencies and student satisfaction. Data were obtained from 260 respondents (students and alumni of AIU), who answered the questionnaire developed for this research. It was analyzed using descriptive statistics, a t-test, one-way ANOVA, Pearson’s correlation analysis, and regression analysis to test the hypotheses.
The results revealed a statistically significant difference in the distinctive competencies among students from different years of study, specifically between sophomore students and senior students. However, no statistically significant differences were found among students from different programs of study, religion, regions of origin, or gender. Furthermore, the results revealed that the overall distinctive competencies positively affected student satisfaction. Brand image, organizational expertise/quality of employees, organizational culture, and effective use of information technology positively affected student satisfaction. Among those dimensions that did exhibit a positive relationship with student satisfaction, the highest predictor of student satisfaction was organizational expertise/quality of employees. Other dimensions—namely partnership and foreign market entry strategy—did not affect student satisfaction.
These research findings may benefit practitioners in the higher education industry. The findings suggest that employing and developing distinctive competency strategies may generate or enhance competitive advantages through customer satisfaction. The research findings imply that higher education administrators need to develop marketing strategies at several levels to generate or enhance distinctive competencies.
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