From Expectation to Reality: An Analysis of the Quality Gap between Educational and Research Services from the Viewpoints of University Students in Tehran

Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Assistant professor, Faculty of Educational Leadership and Development, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

2 PhD Student of Educational Management, Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran, Iran.

3 PhD Student of Higher Education Management, Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran, Iran.


Objective: One of the hallmarks of a desirable higher education system is to meet students' needs and expectations. Studying as the most important part of the educational system provides valuable information for planners to improve the quality of educational services in higher education. The aim of this study was to determine the gap between the reality and expectations of educational and research services of educational students of public universities in Tehran. The present research is applied in terms of purpose and in terms of data collection method, it is a descriptive-survey.
Materials and Method: The statistical population of all Masters and Ph.D. students of public universities in Tehran was Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran University, Tarbiat Modares University, Allameh Tabatabaie University, Alzahra University, Shahid Rajaee University and Kharazmi University in academic year 96-97. According to the latest statistics from the country's survey organization, 597 people were identified. The sample size of 204 people was determined based on the Cochran formula, which was selected based on the relative stratified sampling method from each university. The data were collected using a questionnaire based on the SERVQUAL model of education and research services, which measured five physical dimensions, reliability, accountability, assurance and empathy, and then the gap between the existing and the desired status was studied. The validity of the Educational Services Quality Questionnaire (reality and expectations) and Research Service Quality Questionnaire (reality and expectations) were confirmed by experts and informants of the field. The Cronbach's alphas of the questionnaires are 0.96, 0.95, 0.96 and 0.96, respectively. The data were analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS (21).
Result and Discussion:  The results of the research showed that there is a significant gap in all five dimensions of educational and research services quality. Empathy dimension (1.28) showed the highest mean of gaps in the quality of educational services and the physical dimension (-0.61). The highest mean gap was in the dimensions of the quality of research services related to the physical dimension (372.1) 1) and the lowest average reliability gap (1.206). Results showed significant differences between the realities and expectations in all aspects of the quality of educational and research services. Therefore, considering the importance of students as the main focus of universities, as well as the impact of the quality of educational and research services on them, the need to improve the quality of educational and research services of state universities in Tehran is significantly felt. Therefore, considering the importance of students as the main focus of universities and the impact of the quality of educational and research services on them, there is a great need to improve the quality of educational and research services of public universities in Tehran. According to the research findings, it is suggested that the empathy dimension of educational service quality and physical dimension of research service quality should be prioritized by university managers for planning and targeting. Managers should look at indices and sub-components of these two dimensions; moreover, develop and meet the needs of students. University administrators are encouraged to consider the results of the quality assessment of educational and research services as one of their annual planning documents and indices; Moreover, to improve the quality of the annual services, the survey should be carried out constantly.


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