Service delivery and students' satisfaction in higher education institutions: perspectives of undergraduate students in Uganda
This study examined the impact of service delivery on student's satisfaction in two public and two private universities in Uganda. The specific objectives of the study were; to determine the critical factors in service delivery that contribute most to student's satisfaction, to establish if there is a relationship between physical facilities and student satisfaction, to assess the effect of teaching services on student satisfaction and to examine how the interaction between students and staff influences students satisfaction . Quantitative research methodology was mainly used for the study because it allowed use of numerical data to determine the degree of relationship existing between quantifiable variables. To a lesser extent, qualitative methods were also used to triangulate data collected using the quantitative method. Data was collected from 362 participants comprising of 158 male and 204 female under graduate university students in their final year of study. Stratified and simple random techniques were used as sampling techniques. The questionnaire and the indepth interviews were the key data collection instruments used as they could best capture the data required for the study. Raw data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to determine descriptive statistics in terms of frequency, mean, standard deviations and the correlation coefficients. The key research finding revealed that students are generally dissatisfied with services offered at their universities due to among others, inadequate teaching facilities, delay in release of results and poor staff- student interaction. Results further indicated that much as students were generally dissatisfied with services offered, they could still recommend others to the universities where they study. The general conclusion arising from the findings is that dissatisfaction among students is due to poor service delivery. Specifically, the researcher further concludes that students mind about: the nature of the physical facilities they study in; the nature of teaching services they are offered and the quality of interaction between them and university staff. Arising from the findings of the study, the researcher recommends that institutions of higher learning in Uganda embrace the aspects improving service delivery by improving the pedagogical competence of lecturers by training them in short courses like post graduate cetiificate in education, besides enlarging learning facilities. In doing so, the universities shall be adopting the philosophy of total quality management (TQM) that urges organizations to change their whole approach to management by embracing quality as a guiding factor in everything the organization does. TQM urges the organizations to aim at satisfying the customer by continuously improving service delivery.