A student satisfaction model for higher education providers based on the example of universities of applied sciences in Austria
The literature review reveals the increasing importance of student satisfaction. In addition, various studies by Elliot and Shin (2002, p. 197) have shown that "student satisfaction has a positive impact on student motivation, student retention, recruiting efforts and fundraising". In this context, student satisfaction is an individual overall subjective evaluation and experience of a product/service feature, the product/service itself and between what was received and as well as the perception of a gap between the received and the expected specific product/service to date (Anderson and Sullivan, 1993; Anderson, Farnell and Rust, 1997; Oliver, 1999). This PhD-thesis examines how overall student satisfaction in Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences can be broken down into dimensions of the student's learning experience. The thesis proposes a student satisfaction model for actual students in Austria taking an economic diploma course. The thesis demonstrates that in addition to the academic and pedagogic quality of the teaching culture, infrastructure and quality of services based on long-term relationships with university personnel relationships should not be underestimated when trying to improve student satisfaction. The contribution to knowledge of this PhD-thesis is the first student satisfaction model for Universities of Applied Sciences in Austria. The empirical testing of this coherent student satisfaction model extracted non-relationship and relationship inducing factors for the specific university environment. These factors support the overall assessment of student satisfaction in the Higher Education environment. Furthermore, the emphasis on the relationship marketing aspects for Universities of Applied Sciences is confirmed. This student satisfaction model could serve two purposes in the future: first, a more comprehensive tool for improving the marketing for Higher Education providers by enhancing the student learning experience, and second, informing university management for adjusting and adapting Higher Education institutions to a changing and tougher economic reality.