Student satisfaction or happiness? : a preliminary rethink of what is important in the student experience

Gibbs, Paul ORCID logoORCID: and Dean, Aftab (2015) Student satisfaction or happiness? : a preliminary rethink of what is important in the student experience. Quality Assurance in Education, 23 (1) . pp. 5-19. ISSN 0968-4883 [Article] (doi:0.1108/QAE-10-2013-0044)

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Purpose: There is an influential, but not uncontested (Tsinidou et al., 2010) literature concerning Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) as education service providers, functioning like any other business (e.g.DeShields, 2005). Eagle and Brennan (2007: 4) argue that academic staff, as service providers are thus vital to delivery. Using a service model and traditional corporate quality frameworks, there is temptation to measure how a service ethos serves recipients and co-producers – students, donor, industry and sponsors – negating education’s transformative and uncertain nature, rather than taking the externality of process delivery as a guide. We investigate the purpose of the complex open system of higher education and explore this transformative experience as personal flourishing, where students come to terms with a way of being, matching their potentiality with their agency and leading to profound happiness.

Design/methodology/approach: The research is based on a questionnaire designed and administered to two cohorts of students in different universities in the UK. It present the outcomes as indicative results and draws preliminary conclusion on how the student experience might be engaged with to increase happiness as well as satisfaction.

Findings: The results show a distinct notion of happiness which has specific attributes from those that deliver satisfactions

Originality/value: The literature on student experience and more importantly its reporting conflate happiness and satisfaction. This research shows that they are different, and offers a new way of looking at the student experience data.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Centre for Education Research and Scholarship (CERS)
A. > School of Health and Education
Item ID: 13994
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Depositing User: Paul Gibbs
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 10:14
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 23:02

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