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2. / Author's Name / Ana Oliveira-Brochado
Author's Position / Assistant Professor of Marketing
Author’s Institutional Affiliation (include city/country) / UNIDE, ISCTE-IUL, Gab. D4.22
Av. Das Forças Armadas, 1649-026 Lisboa
Author's email address /
3. / Second Author’s Name (if any) / Fernando Oliveira-Brochado
Second Author's Position / PhD Student
Second Author’s Institutional Affiliation (include city/country) / ICBAS-UP
Second Author’s email address /
4. / Additional Author(s)’ Name(s) in order of authorship (if any)
Additional Author(s)’ Position(s) in order of authorship
Additional Author(s)’ Institutional Affiliation (include city/country)
Additional Author(s)’ email(s) in order of authorship
5. / Presenter (Presenting Author) / Ana Oliveira-Brochado
6. / Three (3) Keyword Descriptors / Service Quality; Higher Education; Master students.
a. / MSC / 62H20, 62H25
b. / JEL / I23, M30
7. / THE ABSTRACT
a. / Introduction, Background, and Objectives / Service quality literaturepoints out the importance for educational institutions to monitor the quality of the services they provide in order to commit themselves to continuous improvements.As students were considered to be the “primary customers” of a university, student perceived service quality has turned out to be an important issue. This paper presents the findings regarding quality practices at a higher education (HE) institution in Portugalby means of the HedPERF – Higher Education Performance scale (Firdaus, 2006).
b. / Theoretical or Conceptual Framework (if applicable) / A new tool, called HedPERF (Higher Education PERFormance) was proposed to measure service quality in a HE context based on the perception paradigm (Firdaus, 2006a). The HedPERF Instrument includes 41 items regarding the total environment as experienced by the student.
Further studies aiming at assess its measurement capabilities had encouraged its use (Firdaus, 2006b; Brochado, 2009).
c. / Research Methods, Samples or Data Sources / Data were gathered by means of a structured questionnaire. Students’ responses were obtained on a 7-point Likert scale (where 1 mean Strongly Disagree and 7 Strongly Agree).The first draft of the questionnaire was subject to a pilot testing through a focus group and an expert evaluation. The student’ survey was performed on 2012. Data were gathered from a 450 students’ sample attending post-graduate and master courses of a Portuguese university.
d. / Method of Analysis / The instrument was evaluated in terms of of unidimensionality, reliability, validity and explained variance. Different statistical methods were used, as follows: exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, correlation analysis, regression analysis and reliability analysis through Cronbach’ alpha coefficient.
e. / Findings / Both exploratory and confirmatory analysis confirmed the five dimensions of the service quality construct as proposed by Firdaus (2006a), namely: non-academic aspects, academic aspects, reputation, access and programme issues. The results show that the major area requiring managerial intervention relates to non-academic aspects.
f. / Conclusions, Scholarly or Scientific Significance, and Implications / The HedPERF instrument, being a multiple-item scale, provides information about the attributes where the HE institution is unsatisfactory in providing service quality and thus needs to involve strategies to remove such quality shortfalls. This work was innovative in using HedPERF in a post-graduate and master context.
8. / References / Brochado, A. & Marques, R. (2009). “Comparing Alternative Instruments to Measure Service Quality in Higher Education”, Quality Assurance in Education, 17 (2): 174-190.
Firdaus, A. (2006a), “The development of HEdPERF: a new measuring instrument of service quality for the higher education sector”, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 569-81.
Firdaus, A. (2006b), “Measuring service quality in higher education: three instruments compared”, International Journal of Research and Method in Education, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 71-89.