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Oxford dictionary defined Education as the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction especially at school or university by Oxford dictionary. Education is very essential in every community or society. Education is not only creating knowledge, it's also creates value in students. It gives confident and also shows ways to earn ones living. Enhancement of research and contribution to the growth of every field were done by education. Education is the fundamental of everything in this world. Almost all countries in the world have its own education system. This is because only educated community can build a nation and guide it towards development.
Every country has its own education system and own way of educating the society. For example education system in United State America divided into four main levels. Starting from primary school (Kindergarten to Grade 8), then secondary school (Grade 9 to Grade 12), followed by College education and finally University to pursue their degree and higher. Malaysia equally has four main levels in education. The education level starts from preschool, then primary school, followed by secondary school and finally University or College education.
Education system in Malaysia goes through tremendous development from the early days. Starting from Sekolah Pondok in 1920's until current National Education System, government undertakes a lot measures to improve and enhance the education system. Education systems in Malaysia govern by two ministries which are Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education. These ministries are run base on Malaysian Education Act 1996.The flow of education system in Malaysia is explained by the flowchart below:
An overview of the Malaysian higher education system
Malaysian higher education system or tertiary education is consisting of Public and Private Institution. The years of education depends on the courses and also student's qualification. Upon completion of Malaysia Certificate of Education (SPM), students have a few paths to choose. Some of them will continue diploma in private or public university or colleges while some might spend another two years of schooling and sits for the Malaysia Higher Certificate of Education (STPM).
Finally students who wish to have a better carrier path will enroll in any higher educational institution to obtain their first degree. Currently in Malaysia first degree is almost compulsory to work as executive and above in any firm regardless of private or government institution. Universities and colleges prepare students in a specialize field and provide various activities like industrial trainings to prepare students for working life.
Malaysian higher education system governs by Ministry of higher education. It was formed in March 2004 focused mainly to develop human capital. There are five departments under this ministry to materialize the vision and mission of the ministry. They are Department of Higher Education, Department of Polytechnics, Department of Community College, Malaysian Qualification Agency and National Higher Education Fund Corporation.
Malaysian Public Higher Educational Institutions
Malaysia public higher educational institutions are funded by government. It consists of Public Universities, Polytechnics, Community Colleges and Teacher Training Institute. Every year the Public Higher Educational institutions are introducing new policies and practices to stay competitive. This institution encourages students and lecturer to conduct research to invent new knowledge and to be recognized worldwide.
There are 20 public universities around Malaysia. Below is the list of public universities in Malaysia:
Universiti Darul Iman Malaysia (UDM)
Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM)
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
Universiti Malaya (UM)
Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK)
Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP)
Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP)
Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)
Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)
Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM)
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia(USIM)
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM)
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia(UTHM)
Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM)
Currently there is a pool of private and government colleges and universities. Previously colleges and universities are built to generate and educate knowledge. Currently education institution becomes one of the service industry and the revenue is calculated in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of each nation. Government introduces attractive policies to develop this industry to increase the revenue of the country. They are also encouraging educational institution to obtain international accreditation so that there will more international students coming into Malaysia to further their studies. Government also stimulates competition among higher educational institution so that the standard of the institution increase. There are greater competitions to enroll and especially to retain the student.
As such these education institutions need to identify what they have to do in order to be competitive. Customer satisfaction or students' satisfaction is the main element that the educational institution needs to focus in order to be competitive. By satisfying the customer they can increase their sales and generate more revenue. Educational institution need to identify the factors that affecting customer satisfaction. Main factors that affecting customer satisfaction are educational quality, image and service quality. When customer or student satisfaction achieved, educational institution will see more positive behavior among the student. Positive behavior happens when students spread positive word of mouth, stay loyal to the institution and also further their studies in the same educational institution. By focusing on improving the factors that affect students' satisfaction, educational institution will definitely achieve competitive advantage which will increase their profit.
The present study aims to answer the following questions:
Q1: How does education quality that provided by public educational institution affects the satisfaction of the student?
Q2: How does image of the institution affects the satisfaction of the student?
Q3: How does service quality that offered by educational institution affects the satisfaction of the student?
Q4: How do satisfactions influence student's positive behaviour?
Q5: Is there any existence of mediating effect of students' satisfaction on the influence of educational quality on student's positive behaviour towards public higher educational institution in Malaysia?
Q6: Is there any existence of mediating effect of students' satisfaction on the influence of image on student's positive behaviour towards public higher educational institution in Malaysia?
Q5: Is there any existence of mediating effect of students' satisfaction on the influence of service quality on student's positive behaviour towards public higher educational institution in Malaysia?
In line with the problem statements, this study has seven objectives
To determine the way education quality affecting students satisfaction in public higher educational institution.
To investigate the way image affecting students satisfaction in public higher educational institution.
To determine the way service quality affecting students satisfaction in higher educational institution.
To understand the way of satisfaction leading towards student's positive behaviour.
To identify the students' satisfaction has a mediating effect in the relationship between educational quality and student's positive behaviour.
To recognize the students' satisfaction has a mediating effect in the relationship between image and student's positive behaviour.
To determine the students' satisfaction has a mediating effect in the relationship between service quality and student's positive behaviour.
Scope of the Study
The scope of study is limited to four public universities which are University of Malaya (UM), University of Science Malaysia (USM), University of Islamic Science Malaysia (USIM) and also University of Putra Malaysia (UPM). These universities are chosen base on convenient sampling.
The target samples of this study are undergraduates and postgraduate from these universities. The reason of choosing them as samples is because first degree and master's degree are common in Malaysia. Undergraduate have tendency to further their studies to postgraduate, while postgraduate have tendency to further their studies to doctorate. The chances of respondent showing their positive behaviour is high. Furthermore the number of students in undergraduates and postgraduates are high compared to others. The positive behaviour is very obvious and significant when the number of students is high.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study may contribute to the existing literature and theory. Although the study discusses mainly on the factors like educational quality, image, service quality, satisfaction and positive behaviour, this study add to the theory by looking at these variables in the context of Malaysian Public Universities. This research will also derive the factors that affect student's satisfaction which lead to their positive behaviour. The research enhances the knowledge of the importance of responding to students or the customer's feedback or opinion in order to improve the image of the institution.
This research is also beneficial to public higher educational institution. Public higher educational institution can use the finding to improve their educational quality, image and also service quality. Public higher educational institutions can also increase the profit and attract more students either in Malaysia or from overseas. The findings will build more reliable and credible public higher education institution by enlightening the importance of fulfilling the student's satisfaction.
Organization of the Study
Chapter 1- Introduction
Chapter 2- Literature review
Chapter 3 - Conceptual Model & Research Methodology
Chapter 4- Data Analysis & Findings
Chapter 5- Discussion & Conclusion