Satisfactions With Hostel Influencing Factors Education Essay

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In the beginning of a service experience delivery process, customers are looking forward to service encounters with eager anticipation. In other words, what customers expect to acquire from service providers can define diverse customer expectations. Moreover, customer expectations are regarded as desires or wants of customers, i.e. what they feel a service provider should offer more than what would offer. Parasuraman et al. (1991a, b) proposed that understanding customer expectations of a service played an important role for delivering satisfactory services. Previous researches had presented that how customers assess the performance of a service provider was based on the single level of expectation standard, which meant customer felt a service provider should offer.

However, past researchers kept evolving and extending the conceptual model of expectations, putting a lot of effort to pinpoint the critical element within customer expectations. These researchers offered multilevel of customer expectations (Parasuraman et al., 1991a, b; Zeithaml et al., 1993; Walker and Baker, 2000). According to their propositions, multiple standards would be more likely to completely understand customer expectations of service.

Satisfactions with hostel influencing factors

Among the studies that investigate the influence of physical attributes of campus accommodation on students' satisfaction is Kayas' and Erkip's research (2001) on student housing setting at Bilkent University, Ankara. The study reveals that students living on the highest floor perceived their rooms larger and found them less crowded in comparison to those on the lowest floor. The study postulates that students' perception of their privacy led to an increase in the level of students' satisfaction with their living condition. Similarly, Karlin, et al.'s study (1979) posits that hostel room size can indeed influence students' level of satisfaction. For instance, their study found that students who lived in triple sharing rooms were less satisfied and unhappier with their living conditions than students residing in double sharing rooms. Other related studies also indicate that there is a high demand among students for a greater degree of privacy in their halls of residence. For example, Balogh et al.'s (2005) study that looked at the recent trends in housing construction and renovation of educational institutes involving 284 online respondents reveals that "construction and renovation were focused mainly on building apartments and suites rather than traditional residence halls" (p. 55) as a result of the demand for more privacy. Privacy, feeling of crowding and control over space have also been the focus in a variety of studies in student housing as an important predicting factor of satisfaction (such as Walden et. al., 1981, Vinsel et al., 1980). These studies report that the physical factors of the 'built environment' affect the people's perception of privacy and crowding.

There are also studies that investigated the influence of high rise buildings vs. low rise buildings among undergraduates. Holahan and Wilcox (1978), for example, who conducted a study on 120 freshmen residents in university accommodations came to a conclusion that "residents of low-rise dormitories were significantly more satisfied and established more dormitory-based friendships than residents of a mega-dorm setting." (p. 237). In a similar vein, Baum et al. (1979) claim that the design of high rise accommodations also have a strong influence on the satisfaction levels of students. They argue that buildings with long corridors (as opposed to shorter ones) tend to provide a more positive experience to the residents as it gave them a sense of less-crowdedness. However, the study notes that residents living in dormitories with long corridors are often accompanied by an increased level of competitiveness, social withdrawal, reduced cooperativeness and, lower personal control (cited in Kaya and Erkip, 2001, 36, 37).

At this juncture, it must also be noted that the demographic background of students like gender and age also impacts their satisfaction levels. For instance, males and females tend to have different perceptions on the 'feeling of crowding' and subsequently have different coping strategies to the crowded conditions (Walden et. al., 1981). A case study at Kuwait University by Alkandari (2007) investigated students' perceptions of the residence hall living environment. His study shows how students' perceptions are affected by gender, nationality and duration of residence. The study found that female and male responses were significantly different in the way they perceived their residence hall environment: generally female students were more satisfied than male students with their residence hall environment. However, there were no significant differences in responses between students of different nationalities. Along similar lines, Allen and Maimone's (1989) study among 855 students concluded that the year of study was important in terms of both perceptions of, and satisfaction with, the residence experience. Specifically, first year students rated themselves as feeling "less involved" and "less a part of the community" than did their upper-year counterparts." (Cited in Rodger and Johnson, 2005:88, 89)

In another related study, Li et al. (2007) examined the relationship between students' overall satisfaction with their residence hall living experience in terms of university hostel facilities and students' satisfaction with various custodial, maintenance, and services. Findings of this study indicate that "interpersonal environment was more important than cleanliness and maintenance variables in predicting students' satisfaction with their residence experiences" (p.50). There has been a vast array of studies that investigated the effects of on-campus accommodation on students. The studies conclude that campus accommodation generally provides a positive impact on its residents. Among the positive effects are: more engagement with the academic environment (Astin 1973, 1993), higher rates of graduation (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991; Tinto, 1993; Chickering 1974 ), greater satisfaction with college experiences (Blimling, 1993), a greater perception of personal growth (Schroeder & Mable, 1994), better social interaction (Ballou, Reavill, & Schultz, 1995), higher educational aspirations and better academic performance (Moos and Lee 1979). Besides, research in this area generally supports the notion that "students living in-campus organized housing tend to be more socially adjusted and tend to participate more often in extracurricular and campus activities than students living off-campus (Feldman & Newcomb, 1969; Lundgren & Schwab, 1979; cited in Rinn, 2004) In addition, Cross and others (2009) who conducted an investigation among 440 students living on-campus found that the hostel environment can influence the student's alcohol use: "a hall with suites increases the situational motivation to drink alcohol." (p. 597). In a study on 502 first-time-college students Pike (2009) examined "the effects of on- and off-campus living arrangements on students' "openness to diversity". The result of his study suggests that "living on-campus was directly associated with significantly higher levels of openness to diversity than living off-campus". Moos and Lee (1979) suggest that "students in independent houses perceived the highest levels of supportive achievement, independence, and intellectual orientation".

BACKGROUND OF THE UNIVERSITY

THE UNIVERSITY OF GHANA was founded in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast on the recommendation of the Asquith Commission on Higher Education in the then British colonies. The Asquith Commission, which was set up in 1943 to investigate Higher Education, recommended among other things, the setting up of University Colleges in association with the University of London. This was followed up by a number of separate Commissions in different regions. The West Africa Commission was under the Chairmanship of the Rt. Hon. Walter Elliot. The Elliot Commission published a majority report which recommended the establishment of two University Colleges in the Gold Coast (Ghana) and Nigeria, and a minority report which held that only one University College for the whole of British West Africa was feasible. The British Government at first accepted the minority report of the Elliot Commission and decided that a University College for the whole of British West Africa should be established at Ibadan in Nigeria. But the people of the Gold Coast could not accept this recommendation. Led by the scholar and politician, the late Dr. J.B. Danquah, they urged the Gold Coast Government to inform the British Government that the Gold Coast could support a University College. The British Government accordingly reviewed its decision and agreed to the establishment of the University College of the Gold Coast.

The University College of the Gold Coast was founded by Ordinance on August 11, 1948 for the purpose of providing for and promoting university education, learning and research. Its first Principal was the late Mr. David Mowbray Balme. Mr. Balme was far-sighted, courageous and dedicated to the promotion of scholarship. By his vision, industry and single-mindedness of purpose, he built a college and laid the foundations for a sound University which is now a source of pride. In his ten years of Principalship, he created an institution whose key-note was orderly living with dignity in a community of scholars. One of the recommendations of the Asquith Commission was that the British Government should set up an Inter-Universities Council to advice on all matters relating to Higher Education in the new British Colonies. The Inter-Universities Council served the new University College of the Gold Coast in an advisory capacity, but it approved all academic appointments. This arrangement helped the College to maintain the high academic standards associated with the Universities in Britain. Also, it enabled the College to seek support of the Council in obtaining funds from the United Kingdom Government sources.

From its inception, the University College of the Gold Coast was admitted to the Scheme of Special Relationship extended by the University of London to certain English and overseas University Colleges. Under this scheme, the University College was allowed to teach for the external degree examinations of London University. It also allowed the College to modify the London syllabuses to suit local conditions and to take part in the setting and marking of examinations. But London University gave final approval to courses and examinations since the degrees given were those of the University of London. For thirteen years, therefore, the University College looked up to two separate institutions in Great Britain: to the Inter-Universities Council for guidance on its broad policy, and to the University of London for approval and control of details of degree regulations. The University College benefitted greatly from this arrangement which certainly helped to maintain its high academic standards.

In the 1960-61 academic years, the College Council made a request to the Government of Ghana for legislation to constitute the University College into a University with the power to award its own degrees. The Government appointed an International Commission to examine the problem. On the recommendations of that Commission, the University of Ghana was set up by an Act of Parliament on October 1, 1961 (Act 79). The then President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, became the first Chancellor of the University, with Nana Kobina Nketsia IV, BLitt DPhil (Oxon), Omanhene of Essikado, as the (Interim) Vice Chancellor.

With a current student population of about 29754 (representing male/female ratio of about 2:1) the University of Ghana is the oldest and largest of the six public Universities in Ghana. Breakdown in terms of programs are as follows: Post-Graduate students - 1,816; Bachelors' Degrees - 26,154; Sub-Degrees - 1,784. International students currently enrolled in the University are also 1142. Senior Members engaged in research and teaching number 865. Senior Administrative and Professional staff also number 128.

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