In higher education institutes, there are competitive and tussling environments to provide students with a high educational and service quality. Service quality is the key to meet or exceed student expectations. The quality of health systems, therefore; would be directly dependent on the quality of medical sciences education. In the current study, the modified SERVQUAL model was applied to assess the quality of the educational service provided at King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Saudi Arabia.
This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study that was conducted within the Faculties of Medicine, Applied Medical Sciences, Dentistry, and Pharmacy. Through applying the modified SERVQUAL model, the gap between students' perceptions and expectations was calculated and correlated with other demographic data. The ratio of students’ perception to their expectation was calculated as a probe of student satisfaction in the current educational services to enable prioritizing items for improvement.
The response rate was 89% (n = 266). Out of the 266 participants, 87% were females and 13% were males. Comparisons between the gap values of male and female students showed a significant difference in the assurance and responsiveness dimensions of the educational service quality at KAU. The results showed that all items have negative gap values (except item 24). The findings showed a significant difference of students’ opinion in SERVQUAL dimensions among different Faculties except in empathy.
The findings of this study showed that all dimensions were not up to the expectations of students. Reliability dimension and its items should be given the highest priority for improvement based on gap, ratio, and service improved matrix. The findings of this study will be very useful for the higher management to design the University Strategic Plan with well-defined direction and priorities for the improvement processes based on SERVQUAL outcomes.