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Service Quality Perception between Public and Private Sector in the Indian Higher
Education System - Dr. Deepika Singh Tomar & Rohit Singh Tomar, Amity Business School, Gwalior
(A part of working paper)
Indian education system is as old as the 'Gupta Empire'. Nalanda was the renowned educational temple
which India had in ancient time. Unfortunately the rich tradition of higher education in India has lost its past glory.
Today no university or educational institute of India is amongst top educational institutes of the world. Indian higher
education system has plethora of challenges. Primary challenge is to provide educational infrastructure for the more
than 125 Million of population of the country. Secondary challenge is to enroll students in age group of 18 to 23 to
these educational institutes. Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of students in India is very less as compared to developed
countries like U.S.A and U.K. Besides that regional disparity in enrolment, poor educational governance, negligible
financial aid for research and development, lack of regular faculty, poor emoluments and perks, absence of single
window selection procedure for the post of faculty etc. are some of the challenges faced by the Indian higher
education system. With so many problems at primary level it is difficult to expect world class quality from Indian
higher education system.
Most of the determinants give us a glimpse of the pre-enrolment scenario. Once student get admission in universities and colleges he receive services of varied nature. After commencement of private universities and colleges Indian education system has become more service oriented. Due to intensive promotion of private educational institutes, students' expectations about services of the all higher educational institutes including government educational centres have increased. Therefore it is important to explore the service quality perception of students about public and private sector higher educational institutes of India after they get enrolled in various courses. Recognition of service quality as a competitive weapon could be a latest phenomenon in the Indian higher education system. Service quality is also crucial for developing loyal customers and is hence responsible for the success of any service organization (Kandampully, 1998; 2000). In higher education system students are the one who consumes services in various forms. Average expected and perceived service quality Gap Score between public and private sector educational institutes is positive. It is high in private sector educational institutes as compared to public sector institutes, while there is no significant difference in the students' perception on reliability aspect between public and private sector educational institutes. It means students expects more reliable services than what they get in private and public sector institutes but in case of private sector institutes this gap is even higher. Therefore it is suggested to private institutes to improve the performance of their expected services dependably and accurately.
Students perceive that instructors/faculty show less interest in solving their problems as per their expectations. The same is applicable in faculty ability to solve the problem at first instant, faculty providing correct answers to all the questions and his promise to get back on the issue in the stipulated time. In all above cases performance of private sector is weak as compared public sector educational institutes, which means Gap Score is more in private sector educational institutes.
Similarly in responsiveness (organization willingness to help students) it is found that average Gap Score is high in private educational institutes as compared to public educational institutes although there is no significant difference in the students' perception on responsiveness aspect between public and private sector educational institutes. Students expect more responsive services from private institutes but they receive less help from the staff members. While in public sector institutes expects less help from its staff but actually they receive more help from them.
In building trust private institutes and public institutes' students felt in the same way and there is no significant difference in the perceived value of the both as far as assurance is concern. Although Gap score is more in private institutes as compared to the public sector institutes it means students expects more trust than what they get from the private institutes. Students expects more empathy from private institutes as compared to public sector institutes but there is no significant difference between the private sector institutes and public sector institutes as far as perceived value on the empathy dimension is concerned. Finally there is no significant difference between the private and public sector institutes as far as the customer perception for tangibility dimension is concerned. But Gap Score is more in private sector institutes than the public sector institutes.
On each and every dimension of the SERVQUAL scale it is found that students' expectations are very high from the private institutes. Perhaps private institutes through their enticing promotional policies have raised the expectations of the students but simultaneously they have failed to deliver as per the expectations of the students.
Dr. Deepika Singh Tomar & Rohit Singh Tomar are faculty-members at Amity Business School, Gwalior.
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