Factors of higher education quality service: the case of a Peruvian university

María del Carmen Arrieta, Beatrice Avolio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that impact the quality of the education service in a Peruvian private university, based on the perception of students and graduates. Design/methodology/approach: The sample consisted of 29 students and 20 graduates from the Administration and Finance Program of a Peruvian private university. The data was collected through focus groups and in-depth interviews based on the students’ and graduates’ perspectives of their experiences. The collected data was subjected to content analysis. Findings: The study identified ten factors or the underlying dimensions that drive the quality of the education service provided by a Peruvian private university. The factors are professors, lecturers, curriculum, extracurricular activities, position and recognition of the university, infrastructure, library, admission, adequate communication mechanisms with faculty and authorities and services. The main quality indicators of the education service were the professors and curriculum planning. As the students were using the education service, they were more focused on “how” they received the service, rather than “what” services they received, i.e. they evaluated the quality of the process. In contrast, graduates gave more importance to functional service quality. They evaluated the quality of “what they received,” i.e. the result. Research limitations/implications: The study has several limitations. First, the qualitative approach does not allow generalizing data. The sample size was relatively small and only involved one Peruvian private university. The study was based on the respondent’s perceptions, which were considered accurate. Practical implications: Based on the study findings, the authors made recommendations to meet the needs of the students and graduates. These findings can help universities to develop strategies that improve educational quality and to allocate resources more effectively. Further research could focus on factors that impact service quality in higher education at different stages of the student lifecycle, namely, applicants (service expectations), students (quality of the process) and graduates (results). The authors suggest validating these results quantitatively. Originality/value: The study proposes a framework of the higher education service quality based on the experiences of students and graduates that can be used by higher education institutions to continue improving educational quality. The originality of the study lies in the perspective on service quality according to the experiences of students and graduates. Also, this study provides empirical evidence on service quality research in Latin American higher education institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-238
Number of pages20
JournalQuality Assurance in Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Service quality
  • Student satisfaction


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