Examining Gaps between Students’ Expectations and Experiences in a Private University

Mohd Mahzan Awang, Abdul Razaq Ahmad, Nora’asikin Abu Bakar, Sayuti Abd Ghani, Che Pee Saad, Saliza Husin, Zaharuddin Hashim, Mohd Asrul Hery Ibrahim, Alfitri Alfitri


This study examined students’ expectations and experiences of academic and social life in a private university. This study employed a survey research design in which a set of fixed-response and open-ended questionnaire has been used. The questionnaire contains five main areas, namely (1) conducive campus facilities and learning environment; (2) good support services; (3) attractive co-curricular activities; (4) positive socio-relationship with university staff and lecturers; and (5) socio-relationship with local community. A total number of 540 university students were randomly selected to participate in this study. Numeric data collected was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Narrative data collected was used to expand the views regarding the areas explored. Results indicated that there is a significant difference between students’ expectations and their experiences with regards to the academic qualities and social life. Results in this study revealed that most of the students’ expectations were not met. This is alarming for the survival of private universities as it would affect the university’s reputation and students’ unwillingness to recommend for others. This study also found that improvement on campus facilities and socio-interaction with university staff are the most important aspects for students. Therefore, a prompt action to improve and upgrade those aspects is vital. This paper recommends a specific action to overcome gaps between expectations and experiences by using a holistic approach.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n8p396

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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