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The role of brand factors in affecting the perceived service quality of students towards institutions of higher learning in Kazakhstan

28. 7. 2021
Štítky

This research paper consisted of an empirical quantitative study to analyze the role of brand-related factors in affecting the perceived service quality of students towards institutions of higher learning in Kazakhstan. This study intended to show the way that improvements in the brand of the institution of higher learning can provide a perception of better service quality. The study consisted of creating a framework known as SERVPERF, which comprised four main measures. These are brand information, brand trust, brand experience, and brand performance. There has yet to be a study conducted about the role of these factors in affecting the perception of service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan on part of local and international students. The SERVPERF framework was tested and validated in this research. Data findings showed that such an instrument is effective in helping to determine what kind of constructs affect the service quality perceptions of students towards institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan. The study identified factors like brand information, brand experience, brand trust, and brand performance as having a positive effect in influencing the perception of service quality of the students towards a particular institution of higher learning Kazakhstan. Based on the findings, the researcher confidently states that all the research hypotheses were supported and all the research objectives were satisfied.

Introduction

Within the sphere of higher education, the concept of branding seems to be quite a controversial area and has not been scrutinized greatly by academics from a Kazakhstan higher learning perspective. In essence, the brand of the organization will establish the marketable features of service provisions under certain conditions that are characterized by very extensive competition over resources as well as consumers (Arrieta & Avolio, 2020). Competition between institutions of higher learning is something that is not new and universities usually engage in various competitive actions against each other (Bassi, 2019). Most recently, branding has attracted a lot of attention as being a marketing tool for universities to be capable of positioning themselves in the sphere of higher education in a more competitive way (Manatos, et al., 2017). Many institutions of higher learning, such as institutions within the United Kingdom, have implemented various branding processes to become more competitive (Dennis, et al., 2016 ).

Therefore, many institutions of higher learning are now focused on creating a very effective brand of themselves to develop and acquire a strong and sustainable competitive advantage (Latif, et al., 2021). Although there is a certain amount of research that has been conducted about the effect of branding on creating the better success of universities, nevertheless, such research about Kazakhstan is lacking and quite scarce. In other words, there is no conclusive past study that has been conducted about how the brand of the University is influenced by the perception and thus influences the positive behavioral intentions of students in an increasingly competitive tertiary education market in Kazakhstan.

In Kazakhstan, the tertiary education industry is starting to face rapid changes and several institutions of higher learning in the country are starting to internationalize, they are starting to adopt more regulations and embrace emerging technologies as well as catering to an increase in the demand by international students (Qingkui, et al., 2016). This means that it is time for institutions of higher learning in Kazakhstan to make their brand become perceived more positively by students, both local and international so that they can attract students, retain them and produce long-term business for themselves (Manatos, et al., 2017). Studies by Chong & Ahmed, (2015) have shown that students of tertiary education institutions are concerned with receiving monetary value and believe their grades tend to influence their chances of securing employment.

Latif, et al., (2019) indicates that the better the brand of the University, the better the intention of the student to study at the university and recommend it to others. Students tend to be very critical of the institutions which they can study at and they are usually very critical about it as well (Leonnard, 2018). They are most likely to search for proof of service quality when they intend to make decisions that are not certain and risky when selecting an institution of higher learning to study at in a very competitive market, where many universities with reputable brands exist (Qingkui, et al., 2016). Students are especially concerned about the money spent at these institutions of higher learning because many of them fund their own educational expenses and thus want value for money and will usually trust reputable brands (Latif, et al., 2021).

There are past studies that state that effective branding efforts in higher learning that operates within a very competitive industry can enhance the service functions of the University and attract as well as retain students. Although much research has established that quality and brand are important sources of competitive advantage (Latif, et al., 2019), nevertheless, the present literature from the perspective of Kazakhstan is almost non-existent. There needs to be proper research was done that shows the way perceived quality is produced and the way that it affects the brand of the University, and attracts and retains students. This study will be carried out to show the way that improvements in the brand of the institution of higher learning can provide a perception of better service quality.

Research Questions

The research questions of the project are defined here.

  1. What is the role of brand information in affecting the student's perceived service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan?
  2. What is the role of past brand experience in affecting the student's perceived service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan?
  3. What is the role of brand trust in affecting the student's perceived service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan?
  4. What is the role of brand performance in affecting the student's perceived service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan?

Research Objectives

The research objectives of the project are defined here.

  1. To examine how brand information affects the student's perception of service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan
  2. To examine how past brand experience affects the student's perception of service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan
  3. To examine how brand trust affects the student's perception of service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan
  4. To examine how brand performance affects the student's perception of service quality of institutions of higher learning in Kazakhstan.

Research Problems

Certain institutions of higher learning in Kazakhstan are faced several challenges most recently. One of these is the necessity to attract a higher number of students to study at these institutions, in that such organizations are looking to attract a larger number of higher quality students (Latif, et al., 2019). Besides, institutions of higher learning within Kazakhstan are also faced with the challenge of protecting themselves from adverse financial consequences because of low rates of retention of the students (Kasa, et al., 2020). Many of these institutions of higher learning are presently facing a lot of pressure and also challenges, especially because of international competitors. The fact that many students within Kazakhstan and the countries neighboring it seemed to prefer to study in institutions of higher learning located in other countries. This is quite detrimental for the tertiary education industry of Kazakhstan because they are losing out on a potentially large number of students who can study at their institution of higher learning, provided that the students can be attracted successfully enough (Nabi, et al., 2016).

Many institutions of higher learning in Kazakhstan are essentially losing out to global competitors. For example, in a study done by Nabi, et al., (2016), it was shown that in the year 2018, there was a decline of 2.8% in international full fee-paying students in contrast to 2017. There is a trend that indicates that tertiary education institutions in Kazakhstan do not seem to be performing very well and this is because of a drop in new enrolments and retention of students, as well as due to problems such as lack of perceived service quality and also lack of efficient branding. Kasa, et al., (2020) has stated that the declining quality experience is perceived by these local and international students as a significant factor that is resulting in the dwindling popularity of tertiary institutions in Kazakhstan. Therefore, very important steps need to be taken by these institutions of higher learning to enhance the perception of service quality on part of their students and one of the ways of doing this is to ensure that its brand is enhanced effectively (Bassi, 2019).

Generally speaking, the survival of an institution of higher learning in Kazakhstan is dependent on the perception of the students towards the brand of the University. Through having a better understanding of the students, being the primary stakeholder, as well as them having perceptions about the brand of the University, it would be possible for the University to create more effective recruiting materials, to make more strategic investments in advertising plans, and also implement policy branding efforts as well as positioning the brand of the University in a very strategically within the global market (Arrieta & Avolio, 2020).

This is believed to be capable of attracting and retaining students and this is especially so if the universities operate within specialist or niche markets (Dericks, et al., 2019). The implementation of an effective branding approach for institutions of higher learning in Kazakhstan can help enhance the marketability of their educational programs (Manatos, et al., 2017), it is likely to improve student attraction and retention (Qingkui, et al., 2016), it is likely to improve the brand reputation and image of the organization and its competitive advantage (Arrieta & Avolio, 2020). Therefore, this research is aimed at exploring and testing the use of an integrated model that is focused on branding initiatives and which is supposed to affect their perceived service quality.

Review of Related Literature

Research that surrounds service quality dimensions can be traced back many decades ago. Over the past 30 years, Numerous studies about the topic of service marketing emphasized matters that concern perceived service quality as well as its dimensions across different cultures and services, and this includes universities (Adam, 2017 ). Such empirical research has paved the way for researchers who research the topic of service quality in its dimension to be capable of gauging the level of quality in higher education contexts and are founded on instruments such as SERVQUAL, that would be conceptualized on perception only concept (Sipayung, et al., 2019). Both of these instruments usually exhibit 5 dimensions and these are reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy as well as responsiveness. However, these items also include various other dimensions at times (Leonnard, 2018).

Instruments like these have been subject to criticism because of some reasons, such as it being inconclusive and inconsistent. It is argued that the measuring of expectations is a technique that is not very effective because experiences can be defined as an individual’s perception of what is deemed to be reality and past expectations are always present in such a kind perception (Bassi, 2019). Hence, recalling expectations and while experiencing a certain service will generate an expectation that is repeated and hence might give rise to bias. Certain research papers done about service quality in higher education made the finding that SERVPERF is more effective than SERVQUAL and it explains the amount of variance in the dependent constructs (Sipayung, et al., 2019).

The service quality concept is a foundation of service marketing and this is because the primary product is the performance of the service. In essence, what the customers are purchasing is the performance being provided (Chong & Ahmed, 2015). The SERVPERF scale does have similar importance. However, this present research is focused upon the perception-only construct (Arrieta & Avolio, 2020).

Service provisions, as well as service quality, are usually considered to be synonymous and this is because they both take into consideration very functional elements of the service (Latif, et al., 2019). For example, service provisions are defined as offers that are customized and include all kinds of service functions and are characterized as long-term and mutually beneficial relationships between those providing the service and the customers (Sipayung, et al., 2019). On the other hand, service quality consists of the various features and characteristics of the services that are premised on the capabilities of satisfying certain needs of the customers (Qingkui, et al., 2016). In this study, service quality is defined as features that are very market-oriented and dominating and generates long-term performance effects on sustainable relationships between those providing the service and the customers.

Literature in the sphere of service quality provides a very comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the justification that the customer-centric approach in the sphere of higher education is capable of providing essential outcomes (Latif, et al., 2021). While using the customer-centric approach or even the marketing approach within the higher education industry, many research papers have suggested that students are the main customers of these institutions (Leonnard, 2018).

Even though students make a selection of the University and educational program, and they pay for education expenses in the universities, nevertheless, certain researchers argue that the students are not customers (Qingkui, et al., 2016). They cite the reason for this being that the objective of education is not to provide pleasure to the students but to equip them with the ability to become highly educated citizens and to motivate their participation in the process of learning and knowledge development. Hence, the service provider–customer relationship that is present within commerce is argued to be absent in the relationship between the student and the teacher. However, the relationship between the student and the University within a customer-centric approach is capable of encouraging sustainable innovative services practices in the tertiary education setting (Arrieta & Avolio, 2020).

Within the context of higher education, the present literature shows that the various service quality dimensions are said to vary greatly across different cultures, universities, or departments. The reason for this is that the perception is essentially shaped by culture, previous interactions, experience, as well as marketing communication messages (Chong & Ahmed, 2015). The dimensions of higher education service quality are also known to vary significantly due to the many variations of the research instruments (Nabi, et al., 2016). It is said that the antecedent approach of service quality is said to provide insights about the way the consumers would view service quality in its entirety and how such a view makes a contribution towards fashioning their behaviors. Present literature in this context shows the way that such a dimensional approach of service quality differs from the antecedent approach (Latif, et al., 2021).

There is a lot of attention given to service quality models in literature where the perceived service quality was found to be a major determinant of student satisfaction and also a significant determinant of the loyalty of the student towards an institution of higher learning (Chong & Ahmed, 2015). The European Customer Satisfaction Index framework is a framework that encompasses elements such as value, expectation, images, customer satisfaction, perceived service quality, and loyalty and it measures customer satisfaction across different commercial industries and has even been used in the tertiary education industry in the past studies (Nabi, et al., 2016). Qingkui, et al., (2016) has found that the relationship between a number of these constructs within this framework was positive and significant while others were negative and insignificant.

In a study by Latif, et al., (2019), it was found that factors like customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, corporate image, and customer value tend to have chain effects while other relationships within such a framework do not provide such effect. Researchers find that the image construct is effective in determining perceived service quality and also customer expectations (Arrieta & Avolio, 2020). Nabi, et al., (2016) believe that the concept of corporate image is generated by functional and technical quality. In essence, corporate image is believed to be an outcome variable of customer perceived quality, satisfaction, and value. Qingkui, et al., (2016) believes that customer satisfaction and customer trust are held up by the positive perception of service performance by the customer and this does create a positive image in the eyes of the customer about the University. Studies have also shown the brand of the University and the way the brand performs do affect the behavioral intention of the students and can influence the perceived service quality of the student towards a certain institution of higher learning (Dennis, et al., 2016 ).

In a study by Dericks, et al., (2019), the researchers found that information relating to service quality is an important factor as it provides a foundation for the student to evaluate the service quality attributes of the University. A student can receive information about the quality aspects of the University brand from many marketing communications sources (Chong & Ahmed, 2015). Formal communication from various sources such as advertisements, leaflets as well as information in articles as well as magazines can affect the way that these students interpret ambiguous data that concern the quality of the University brand (Adam, 2017 ). In essence, adequate levels of information about the University brand would accelerate the learning abilities of the student in terms of the attributes of the University (Manatos, et al., 2017). This suggests that providing adequate and reliable information about the brand of the University to students, before they enroll, can have a very significant effect in shaping their perceptions about the University service quality (Qingkui, et al., 2016). In other words, the perceived quality of students towards a university is affected by the presence of reliable information about the University brand (Leonnard, 2018).

Experience is also a factor that certain researchers claim to affect the perceived service quality of an institution of higher learning (Kasa, et al., 2020). Nabi, et al., (2016) state that information by itself cannot provide a very comprehensive view of the University and to acquire a precise view of a certain phenomenon, an individual is required to integrate their imagination and also their experiences together with the information they have about a certain brand (Dennis, et al., 2016 ). Past experiences will provide a very brief cognitive standard and it can help in making an assessment of the standard of service quality of the present as well as future service encounters (Dericks, et al., 2019).

Also, the experience of a student with a particular brand of the University may affect the evaluation of the performance of that University. If the student acquires negative experiences, then it is likely that they will perceive the service quality negatively (Manatos, et al., 2017). This means that the perception of the students towards service quality is affected by their past experiences. When talking in terms of tertiary education, a student’s experience of obtaining education from a particular institution does create a basis from which they can assess the quality of the education service provided (Qingkui, et al., 2016). Besides, the recent experience of the student with the staff of the University in the consultation phase or the pre-enrolment phase can also provide a strong foundation for acquiring service quality perceptions about a particular university (Sipayung, et al., 2019).

Brand-related trust is also a factor that certain researchers have explored in terms of determining its relationship with perceived service quality (Latif, et al., 2021). The trust of a student in a particular university brand does have the effect of increasing that brand reputation and it is a representation of brand performance. Dennis, et al., (2016) state that trust supported by experience is capable of affecting the way that the brand is perceived by a student. Hence, the student would show trust towards a university brand if they have knowledge and experience about it and this affects the performance of the brand. The trust of the student can play an important role in enhancing the marketability of the programs of the University and the University brand itself (Arrieta & Avolio, 2020). Besides that, student-related trust also contributes in the long term towards controlling marketing costs in a very competitive business environment. As students acquire and embrace the cumulative effects of trust with the staff of the University and the University itself, they would start having a sense of pride in being associated with the brand of the University. This would then have the effect of upholding the relative performance of the brand of that particular brand (Qingkui, et al., 2016).

The performance of the brand of the University is also a factor that certain researchers claim to have a positive effect on the behavioral intentions of students towards a university (Arrieta & Avolio, 2020). The behavioral intention indicates whether or not the customer would show loyalty towards doing business with a particular organization or otherwise (Leonnard, 2018). Dennis, et al., (2016) has found that there is a positive relationship between the performance of the brand of the University and the perception of service quality on part of students. The study shows that where the brand of the University has a strong performance record, it is likely that a student would show a better intention of studying at university because they know they will get value for money. Brand reputation is a close representation of brand performance and therefore, the performance of the University brand can affect the positive behavioral intention of the students in the context of higher education (Manatos, et al., 2017). Students would like to graduate from a university that has a brand that is highly reputable and well-known and if the brand performs well, then a student would like to be associated with such a brand and would most likely choose a university that has a brand that is performing very well (Qingkui, et al., 2016).

Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework of this research is created to show the relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variable, and how they are meant to interact (Creswell & Creswell, 2017 ). The dependent variables of this study are brand information, brand experience, brand trust, and brand performance, whereas the dependent variable is perceived service quality.

Variables

The following are the research hypothesis based on the conceptual framework:

Hypothesis 1: There is a positive relationship between brand information and perceived service quality of higher learning in Kazakhstan

Hypothesis 2: There is a positive relationship between brand experiences and perceived service quality of higher learning in Kazakhstan

Hypothesis 3: There is a positive relationship between brand trust and perceived service quality of higher learning in Kazakhstan

Hypothesis 4: There is a positive relationship between brand performance and perceived service quality of higher learning in Kazakhstan.

Research Methodology

First and foremost, the description is made of the research method and for the study, the research method that is used will be the quantitative research method. It is a design of the research that involves utilizing a methodology that involves collecting, analyzing, and interpreting statistical data. The objective here is to establish a better understanding of the correlations and relationships between the variables of the research (Creswell & Creswell, 2017 ).

The kind of data that was collected for this research is the primary research data. This is defined as the data collected from a source that has previously not been researched by any other researchers before (Barbara & Susan, 2014). It is new data that is untouched and is ideal to be used to explore a new topic like the one being researched here. Primary data was used because it will provide data that can be analyzed and interpreted easily to produce new findings (Agresti, 2013).

 

About the data collection method, the researcher used the primary data collection technique to collect primary data. The tool that is used to facilitate the collection are primary data will be the questionnaire and it will involve collecting data that is related to the research topic (Agresti, 2013). The questionnaire-based survey is an effective way to collect a large amount of quantitative data which can be used to understand better about the research problem and provide good findings to answer the research questions (Goertzen, 2017).

Concerning the measures of the research questionnaire, the questionnaire was used as the main data collection instrument will feature ordinal level measurements that are designed for this quantitative study. It is a scale where the variables are placed in perfect order. Besides that, these measures were tested for reliability using a pilot test (Goertzen, 2017). Cronbach’s alpha methodology is ideal to determine the reliability of these research measures and an Alpha larger than 0.7 will mean that the reliability is good and therefore the questionnaire has an internal consistency level that is acceptable (Groh, 2018).

The questionnaire consisted of five main measures contain five constructs each and there was be a total of 25 constructs altogether. All these items were included in the questionnaire and meant to gather responses from the participants which will then be subject to statistical analysis (Creswell & Creswell, 2017 ). The main measures and constructs of this questionnaire are given in table 1.1 below.

Table 1.1: Research construct measures

Measures

Constructs

References

Brand Information

Brand information affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The presence of a large quantity of brand information affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The presence of a good quality of brand information affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The ease of access to brand information affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The better the availability of brand information, the better my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

(Bassi, 2019) (Dennis, et al., 2016 )

Brand Experiences

Brand experience affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The presence of a positive brand experience positively affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The presence of a negative brand experience negatively affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

A lack of brand experience badly affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The better the brand experience, the better my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

(Qingkui, et al., 2016) (Dennis, et al., 2016 )

Brand Trust

Brand trust affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

The presence of a trustworthy brand positively affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The presence of an untrustworthy brand negatively affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

I give a lot of importance to brand trust because it affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The better the level of brand trust, the better my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

(Latif, et al., 2021) (Dennis, et al., 2016 )

Brand Performance

Brand performance affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

The presence of a high-performance brand positively affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The presence of low-performance brands negatively affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

I give a lot of importance to brand performance because it affects my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

The better the level of brand performance, the better my perception of service quality towards Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning

 

(Nabi, et al., 2016) (Qingkui, et al., 2016)

Perceived Service Quality

The perceived quality of Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning is very important for me

 

If I perceive the superior quality of Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning, then I am likely to study there

 

If I perceive the inferior quality of Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning, then I am unlikely to study there

 

If I perceive the superior quality of Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning, then I am likely to show loyalty towards it

 

If I perceive the superior quality of Kazakhstan institutions of higher learning, then I am likely to recommend that institution to others

(Latif, et al., 2019) (Sipayung, et al., 2019)

 

The main research participants chosen for this study were local and international students who study at institutions of higher learning in Kazakhstan or those who have studied in such institutions in the past. These participants are chosen for this study because they will be able to provide the kind of responses that the researcher will want and which can be examined and analyzed to provide quality findings that can help satisfy the research objectives (Creswell & Creswell, 2017 ).

The sample size is defined as the total size of the sample that the researcher will use for the research. This study used a total of 200 respondents as the main research sample. Barbara & Susan, (2014) recommend a total of 10 respondents for every variable and since there are five research variables, this means that the minimum sample that was needed was 50 respondents. Nevertheless, the researcher believes that this is not enough to ensure greater representation of the research population and thus used a larger research sample consisting of 200 to provide better representativeness.

Concerning the data analysis technique used, because the data that was to be analyzed is quantitative, hence, a statistical analysis technique is employed. The software of choice for this analysis is SPSS and this is regarded as the most functional and efficient software to carry out such an analysis. The SPSS tests that were performed on the research data include the reliability test, the normality tests, the correlation coefficient tests, and hypothesis testing (Agresti, 2013).

Discussion of Findings

It is evidently apparent from table 1.2 below that all of the alphas are higher than 0.7. This is interpreted to mean that the scale of brand integration, brand experience, brand trust, brand performance, and perceived service quality is reliable (Agresti, 2013). In essence, there is the internal consistency of the measures in the questionnaire (Barbara & Susan, 2014).

Table 1.2: Reliability Statistics Results

Measures

Alpha

Reliability

Brand Information

0.913

Reliable

Brand Experiences

0.891

Reliable

Brand Trust

0.891

Reliable

Brand Performance

0.876

Reliable

Perceived Service Quality

0.722

Reliable

 

The results of the normality test analysis are discussed using the histogram method. A histogram that shows a bell-shaped curve is usually indicative of the data being obtained from a normally distributed population, and a histogram that does not show a bell-shaped curve means the data is not normal (Agresti, 2013). The presence of a bell-shaped curve in the histogram below does confirm that the data is in obtained from a population is to be normal (Creswell & Creswell, 2017 ).

Dependent variables

Figure 1.1: Normality Histogram

A discussion of the correlation test results is carried out by interpreting the correlation coefficient provided in table 1.3 below. Concerning the relationship between brand information and perceived service quality, the correlation coefficient of 0.578 shows that is a moderate strength linear correlation between both of these variables (Agresti, 2013). This is interpreted to mean that the quality of brand information of a particular institution of higher learning can affect the perception of the quality of students towards an institution of higher learning in Kazakhstan (Arrieta & Avolio, 2020).

The second relationship to be analyzed here is the relationship between brand experience and perceived service quality the correlation coefficient acquired is also 0.578 and this shows a moderate strength linear relationship between the variables (Barbara & Susan, 2014). In interpreting this result, it is observed that brand experience on part of the student attending a high learning institution can affect their perception of quality towards an institution in question (Dennis, et al., 2016 ).

The third relationship to be analyzed here will be between brand trust and perceived service quality. The correlation coefficient is 0.668 and this shows a presence of a moderately strong linear relationship between the variables (Goertzen, 2017). This result is interpreted to mean that the presence of brand trust can positively affect the perception of quality towards an institution of higher learning in Kazakhstan (Nabi, et al., 2016).

The fourth relationship analyzed here will be between brand performance and perceived service quality. The correlation coefficient is 0.508 and it means there is a moderately strong linear correlation between both the variables (Barbara & Susan, 2014). This means that if the brand of the universities performing very well, this would create a positive perception of service quality in the eyes of the student (Latif, et al., 2021).

From this analysis, the researcher finds that the perception of service quality of students towards an institution of higher learning Kazakhstan is positively affected by brand information, brand trust, brand experience, and brand performance.

Table 1.3: Correlation Coefficient Statistics

Correlations

 

Perception of Service Quality

 

Brand Information

 

Brand Experience

Brand Trust

 

 

Brand Performance

 

Perception of Service Quality

 

Pearson Correlation

1

.578**

.578**

.668**

.508**

Sig. (2-tailed)

 

.000

.000

.000

.000

N

200

200

200

200

200

Brand Information

 

Pearson Correlation

.578**

1

1.000**

.956**

.480**

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

 

.000

.000

.000

N

200

200

200

200

200

Brand Experience

 

 

Pearson Correlation

.578**

1.000**

1

.956**

.480**

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.000

 

.000

.000

N

200

200

200

200

200

Brand Trust

Pearson Correlation

.668**

.956**

.956**

1

.432**

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.000

.000

 

.000

N

200

200

200

200

200

Brand Performance

 

Pearson Correlation

.508**

.480**

.480**

.432**

1

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.000

.000

.000

 

N

200

200

200

200

200

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

 

From the multiple regression test analysis, the significance values are obtained to test the research hypothesis. From the multiple regression test results, all the significance values for each of the independent variables are lower than 0.05, and therefore, the researcher concludes that there is statistical significance between the independent variables and the dependent variable (Goertzen, 2017). Therefore, the researcher concludes that all the research hypotheses are supported.

Table 1.4: Hypothesis Testing Results

Hypotheses

Significance Value

Decision

H1: There is a positive correlation between brand information and the student's perceived service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan

 

0.000

Accepted

H2: There is a positive correlation between brand experience and the student's perceived service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan

 

0.000

Accepted

H3: There is a positive correlation between brand trust and the student's perceived service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan

 

0.000

Accepted

H4: There is a positive correlation between brand performance and the student's perceived service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan

 

0.000

Accepted

 

Overall, the researcher managed to prove that there is a linear relationship between brand information and perceived service quality, there is a linear relationship between brand trust and perceived service quality, there is a linear relationship between brand experience and perceived service quality and there is a linear relationship between brand performance and perceived service quality. This means that the perception of service quality by local and international students towards institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan is affected by the presence of quality brand information about the University, by the presence of high level of trust associated with the University brand, by the presence of a positive brand experience by the students and by the performance of the University brand.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This study involves the creating of the framework known as SERVPERF. It is comprised of four main measures and these are brand information, brand trust, brand experience, and brand performance. This is a study that is one of its kind, and one of the very first done from a Kazakhstan perspective. No such study has been conducted about the role of these factors in affecting the perception of service quality of institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan on part of local and international students. This study has identified these independent variables as having a positive relationship with the dependent variable.

The SERVPERF framework was tested and validated in this research and the data findings show that such a service quality instrument is quite effective in helping to determine what kind of constructs affect service quality perceptions of students towards institutions of higher learning Kazakhstan. It is a study that is made an identification of the factors that affect the perception of service quality of the students towards a particular institution of higher learning Kazakhstan and has shown that by catering to these factors, these institutions will be able to create a better perception of service quality and thus attract the students will effectively and also generate better loyalty (Qingkui, et al., 2016).

Many recommendations can be made to assist institutions of higher learning in Kazakhstan to improve the efficiency of attracting students by creating a positive perception of service quality on their part (Arrieta & Avolio, 2020). It is very important for these institutions to properly understand that the perception of quality by students towards the institution is very important because the students perceive the institution is providing them with superior quality of education, then they are likely to make the decision the study at that particular university and show loyalty to it an as well as recommend it to others (Dericks, et al., 2019).

This study has shown that to derive such a perception of service quality superiority, these universities must take certain steps to enhance the brand and these include ensuring that the brand-related information about the University is present in the right quantity and quality (Adam, 2017 ), ensuring that the brand is perceived as trustworthy (Qingkui, et al., 2016), to provide a very superior and pleasant brand experience to the student and also to ensure that the brand is performing at optimal levels (Nabi, et al., 2016). Such branding activities will ensure that the organization will be capable of providing a very positive perception of service quality on part of the students towards the institution of higher learning in Kazakhstan

Author: Ainur Zhamagatova

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