Scholarly article on topic 'Assessing Students Perceptions of Service Quality in Technical Educational and Vocational Training (TEVT) Institution in Malaysia'

Assessing Students Perceptions of Service Quality in Technical Educational and Vocational Training (TEVT) Institution in Malaysia Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Mohd Zuhdi Ibrahim, Mohd Nizam Ab Rahman, Ruhizan M. Yasin

Abstract This paper aims to investigate how students perceive the service quality offered at public and private technical education and vocational training institute (TEVT) in Malaysia and their overall satisfaction. An evaluation study using questionnaire survey was employed to measure the students’ perception towards 10 service quality dimensions and their overall satisfaction. The questionnaire was distributed by hand at the beginning of the selected lecture or workshop session and the completed questionnaire were collected at the end of the session. This paper discuss the student's perception in every service dimension measured and compared the similarities and differences with some previous studies.

Academic research paper on topic "Assessing Students Perceptions of Service Quality in Technical Educational and Vocational Training (TEVT) Institution in Malaysia"

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Procedía

Social and Behavioral Sciences

ELSEVIER Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 56 (2012) 272 - 283

International Conference on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (ICTLHE 2012) in

conjunction with RCEE & RHED 2012

Assessing Students Perceptions of Service Quality in Technical Educational and Vocational Training (TEVT) Institution in

Malaysia

Mohd Zuhdi Ibrahima*, Mohd Nizam Ab Rahmanb, Ruhizan M. Yasinc

a' b Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,

Bangi, 43600, Selangor, Malaysia cDepartment of Methodology and Educational Practice, Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, 43600, Selangor,

Malaysia

This paper aims to investigate how students perceive the service quality offered at public and private technical education and vocational training institute (TEVT) in Malaysia and their overall satisfaction. An evaluation study using questionnaire survey was employed to measure the students' perception towards 10 service quality dimensions and their overall satisfaction. The questionnaire was distributed by hand at the beginning of the selected lecture or workshop session and the completed questionnaire were collected at the end of the session. This paper discuss the student's perception in every service dimensio n measured and compared the similarities and differences with some previous studies.

© 2012Publishedby Elsevier Ltd.Selectionand/orpeer-reviewunderresponsibility of CentreofEngineeringEducation, UniversitiTeknologiMalaysia

Keywords: service quality; technical education; vocational training; students satisfaction

1. Introduction

In Malaysia, Technical Education and Vocational Training (TEVT) sector is a part of higher education sector. The quality of service provided is fundamental to a country's development because it prepare competent human capital who will work for the future. Students are considered as the primary customers in the training institute where they need suitable environment to create a good learning atmosphere. Training institutions are responsible

* Corresponding Author. Tel.: +6-012-315-2385 E-mail address: mzuhdi@eng.ukm.my

Abstract

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Centre of Engineering Education, Universiti

Teknologi Malaysia

doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.655

to provide service quality to the students. The quality of services provided by each training institution can be seen through the perspective of the students as major customer who received the service.

Thus, services quality is an important factor in the education and training and has received significant attention. Education and training institutions need to ensure that the services provided will give the customer a positive impression. Getting feedback from customer towards service provided is a must to ensure the quality of services can be managed. The feedbacks received are very useful for evaluation and improvement of the programmes of study and on the complete range activities in the study.

The performance of service quality is difficult to set, measure and monitor because of intangibility characteristics(Thakkar, Deshmukh, & Shastree, 2006). Service quality in educational sector is unique compare to the other sectors (Quinn, Lemay, & Johnson, 2009). Although administrative and supporting areas often function in ways similar to typical service businesses, but instructional areas are unlike the business world. The uniqueness of educational sector is the concept of academic freedom and difficulty to focusing on various types of customer and stakeholder.

In order to manage service quality, training organization requires understanding of the customer needs and expectations in relation to the service provided. The factors that can influence customer expectations those are relevant in the context of skills training should be identified. The competition to attract student need to be handle carefully because of the increase numbers of higher education and training institution both in private and public sector. Therefore, the quality of services provided by each of the training institute becomes crucial to determine the survival. There are no business and no job without the students in learning institution. This issue is the major concern of this study which to examine the extent to which performance of training, services and facilities available in the training institute will satisfied the student and attract more students to enrol.

While the importance of quality was becoming more widely recognized but its conceptualization and measurement have typically remained understudied (Abili, Thani, Mokhtarian, & Rashidi, 2011). The aim of this study is to give contribution in the quality improvement of the skills training in Malaysia to make sure that services provided meet and exceed the needs and expectation of major customer which are students who receive the training and services.

Hence, this paper will deals with the student perception towards the quality of services provided by public and private training institute and to identify the student satisfaction towards the overall services quality provided. The hypothesis of this study is there are differences in student perception and overall satisfaction between public and private institute. The finding hopefully will be useful to support the improvement action by the institutions.

2. Theoretical background

2.1. Technical Education and Vocational Training (TVET) in Malaysia

Malaysian tertiary education system can be categorized into three main sectors namely skills training sector, vocational and technical education sector and higher education sector, as classified in Malaysian Qualification Framework (MQF) (Malaysian Qualification Agency, 2011). Each one of this sector have their own objective in developing human capital for the development of the country.

The standardization and certification in skills training sector are based on the National Occupational Skill Standards (NOSS) and Certification System with a five-level skills qualification framework. The accreditation of

training centre and their training courses were conducted by the Department of Skills Development (DSD). Graduate from this sector are expected to be competently in conduct of a work as specified in the NOSS.

Certification system with a five-level skills qualification framework and their description is shown in Table 1 (Yunos, Ahmad, Kaprawi, & Razally, 2006).

Table 1. Malaysian Skills Certification Framework

Qualification awarded Competencies achieved

Level 5 (Malaysian Skills Possession of the necessary competence so as to be able to apply a significant range of

Advance Diploma) fundamental principles and complex techniques across a wide and often unpredictable

variety of contexts

Level 4 (Malaysian Skill Competent in performing a broad range of complex technical or professional work

Diploma) with a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy

Level 3 Competencies in performing a broad range of varied work activities that are performed

in a variety of contexts, most of which are complex non-routine

Level 2 Competent in performing a significant range of varied work activities that are being

performed in a variety of contexts. Some are non-routine, requiring individual

responsibility and autonomy

Level 1 Competent in performing a range of various job/tasks that are mostly routine and

predictable

2.2. Measuring Service Quality in Education and Training Sectors

There are many gray areas in the debate over how to measure service quality (Senthilkumar & Arulraj, 2011). Studies on the service quality have resulted various measurement scales including SERVQUAL (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1991), SERVPERV (J. Joseph Cronin & Taylor, 1994), Higher Education Performance (HEdPERF) (Abdullah, 2006), EduQUAL(Mahapatra & Khan, 2007), Service Quality Measurement in Higher Education in India (SQM-HEI) (Senthilkumar & Arulraj, 2011) dan EDUSERVE (Ramseook-Munhurrun, Naidoo, & Nundlall, 2010). Each scale has its own advantages and disadvantages, and still debated among authors. Factors or dimensions of quality measured also vary depending on the approach and context of the research.

Table 2 show the comparison of service dimension measured by some service quality measurement scale.

Table 2. Service Quality Measurement Scale

Measurement Scale Quality Dimension

SERVQUAL Tangibles; Reliability; Responsiveness; Assurance; and Empathy.

SERVPERV Tangibles; Reliability; Responsiveness; Assurance; and Empathy.

HEdPERF Non-academic aspects; Academic aspects; Reputation; Access; and

Understanding.

EduQUAL Learning outcomes; Responsiveness; Physical facilities ; Personality

development; and Academics.

SQM-HEI Teaching methodology; Environmental change in study factor;

Disciplinary measure taken; Placement-related activities; and Overall

rating of service quality and satisfaction level.

EDUSERVE Empathy; School facilities; Reliability; Responsiveness ; and Assurance-

discipline

The first two scales which are SERVQUAL and SERVPERF are generic measurement scale that applied across the sectors. Both instruments has been applied in the education sector with some modification of the items

to suit with the situation and the context of the study (Gallifa & Batalle, 2010; Ramseook-Munhurrun, et al., 2010; Sahney, Banwet, & Karunes, 2004, 2008; Yeo, 2008). The others are developed specific for education sector. HEdPERF (Higher Education Performance) was developed as measuring instrument of service quality that captures the authentic determinants of service quality within the higher education sector (Abdullah, 2006). The findings confirm that the student perceptions of service quality can be considered as a six-factor structure consist of those six dimensions namely non-academic aspects; academic aspects; reputation; access; and understanding. EduQUAL has been developed to suit with technical education system. This instrument developed through identification of the minimum number of service items that suitable to various stakeholders in the areas of technical education, including students, alumni, parents and recruiters (Mahapatra & Khan, 2007). SQM-HEI was developed for the measurement of service quality in higher educational institutions in India. EDUSERVE scale was developed based on SERVQUAL scale and the findings of focus group tested in the context of educators' expectations and perceptions of service quality in secondary schools in Mauritius (Ramseook-Munhurrun, et al., 2010). Those instruments are empirically tested on academic and non-academic aspects.

Although each measurement instrument shows the difference of items measured, but it can be concluded that all the instruments covered all the important elements for students which includes academics, facilities and support services. For this study, the instrument used was not adopted from a single particular measurement instrument, but it was adapted from a combination of instruments which measured the items considered important across the entire service provided by TEVT institution. The instruments have also been verified by experts in the field TEVT.

2.3. Students Satisfaction

Training institution need to satisfy several customers and stakeholders including students, alumni, parents, employer and government (Mahapatra & Khan, 2007), but the student being the main. There are important to measure student feedback on service quality. Student feedback on the quality of services provided by the institute is useful for performance improvement of the institute including in the teaching aspects; training curriculum content; as a guide to prospective students to choose the institute and as a method of quality measurement (Nair, Murdoch, and Mertova 2011). In addition, Sirvanci (1996) in (Mahapatra & Khan, 2007) indicates that the students are generally assumed to be the principal customers and take on different roles within the institution. They are the product of the process, the internal customers for many campus facilities, the labourers of the learning process and the internal customer of the delivery of the course material.

Sakthivel, et al. (2005) develop a TQM model of academic excellence and empirically establish a relationship between TQM implementation and students' satisfaction of academic performance. The result found there is a relationship between the five TQM constructs namely commitment of top management; course delivery; campus facilities; courtesy; customer feedback and improvement and students' satisfaction of academic performance has been established.

Maimunah Sapri, Kaka, & Finch (2009) found that student's learning experience is influenced by three major factors, namely lecturer's performance; service or process that is involved in delivery of the service; and facilities which support the core process. This finding is in line with Hill, Lomas, & MacGregor (2003) in their study on student perception of quality experience in higher education which found that the quality of lecturer and the student support system are the most influential factors. The quality of lecturer including delivery in the classrom, feedback to students and relationship with students.

Jalali, Islam, & Ariffin (2011) in their work to find out factors that affect students' satisfaction in a higher learning institution in Malaysia found that academic related activities are more important than non-related academic. Academic activities are not limited to classroom but must cover everything can develop good values, attitude, character and strong personalities. Douglas, Douglas, & Barnes (2006) in his study on measuring student satisfaction at a UK university also found that the most important aspects were those associated with teaching and learning that determined student satisfaction.

However the finding of Douglas, Douglas, & Barnes (2006) that the least important aspects were those associated with the physical facilities is contradict with Maimunah Sapri, Kaka, & Finch (2009) who found the facilities is important aspects. They noted that the physical facilities are the attractive factor for potential students to choose the institute. When the students entranced, teaching and learning factors become more important than physical facilities. However, these studies only involved a university in the UK which have been equipped with the latest equipment and facilities and these aspects are no longer issues for students. While the study by Maimunah Sapri, Kaka, & Finch (2009) in the context of higher education institutions in Malaysia which involved three university, formulation factors such as library, laboratory, and overall campus environment were important from students perspective.

Aldridge & Rowley (1998) conducted a case study on one university in Italy regarding student satisfaction and quality of service, propose that universities have to concentrate their efforts on the improvement of quality of teaching and non-teaching services, in order to promptly respond to the target, and foster a stronger relationship with surrounding economic and productive systems.

From the above discussion it can be conclude that the satisfaction of students as primary customers are crucial to the survival of training or education institutions. The factors that influence student satisfaction is made up of factors associated with academic and non-academic. Therefore, in this study both aspects were taking into consideration.

3. Research Methods

Questionnaire survey was employed to measure the student's perception towards 10 service quality dimensions and their overall satisfaction. The quality dimensions, covering most aspects of student life, were developed based on an extensive literature review (Douglas, et al., 2006; Lagrosen, Seyyed-Hashemi, & Leitner, 2004; Maimunah Sapri, Kaka, & Finch, 2009; Parker, 2008; Sohail & Shaikh, 2004; Telford & Masson, 2005; Tsinidou, Gerogiannis, & Fitsilis, 2010). In addition, a content validation was undertaken with three experts in technical education and vocational training and the questionnaire amended accordingly. The 10 service quality dimensions measured are namely campus environment, physical facilities, training equipment, instructor, curriculum, training delivery, support services, support staff, library and reliability of service. Quantitative and qualitative data were generated from structured closed- ended and open ended questions.

The questionnaire covered four main sections. Section one contained questions pertaining to respondent's demographic background covered information relating to gender, the training institute and field of study. Section two required the respondents to indicate their opinion about their perception of each services dimension using a five-point Likert Scale. Section three comprised questions whereby respondent was asked about overall satisfaction based on their experience. In section four, there are two open-ended questions where the respondents were ask to state their opinion regarding the training and services provided. The respondents were asking to state their praise and comment about the training and services based on their experience.

Due of time and cost constraints, the questions were administered to a sample of two training institutes, one public institute and one private institute in Klang Valley. The questionnaire was distributed by hand at the beginning of the selected lecture or workshop session and the completed questionnaire were collected at the end of the session. Of the 200 questionnaire distributed, 124 were completed and returned which is representing a response rate of 62 per cent.

3.1. Validity and reliability of the instrument

Validity is defined as how well an instrument measured the particular concept it is intended to measure. While reliability is define as how consistently a measuring instrument measures whatever concept it is measuring (Sekaran, 2003). The instrument used in this study was developed based on extensive literature review of service quality in education and validated by experts in the field of TVET, thus it is can be considered as a valid instrument. The reliability of instrument was tested through internal consistency. The most popular test of internal consistency reliability is the Cronbach's coefficient alpha (Sekaran, 2003). The reliability analysis results are summarized in Table 3. The Cronbach's alpha value for all constructs ranges between 0.839 and 0.940. All the values are above the value of 0.70, thus demonstrate that the scales are consistent and reliable.

Table 3. Reliability analysis result

Construct Cronbach's alpha N of Items

Campus environment 0.839 6

Physical facilities 0.866 6

Training equipment 0.912 6

Quality of instructor 0.903 8

Curriculum 0.848 6

Training delivery 0.860 7

Support services 0.881 7

Support staffs 0.940 6

Library services 0.882 6

Services reliability 0.928 6

Overall satisfaction 0.888 6

3.2. Analysis of Data

The data gathered for this study contains both quantitative and qualitative type of data. Quantitative data was analysed using the SPSS software version 19.0. The quantitative data were broadly analysed into two main statistical components. Firstly, the descriptive statistics which provided data summary in terms of demographic information, frequency analysis and mean value. Secondly, independent sample t-test was performed to identify the mean different between two group of respondent from public and private institute. The qualitative data were group manually into the 10 service dimension and discuss together with the quantitative findings.

4. Results and Discussion

The data collected from questionnaires together with some discussion are reported in this section.

4.1. Demographic of the Respondent

Table 4 shows the distribution of respondent by gender and their training program. The total respondents are 124 which are 87 of them from public training institute and 37 of them from private training institute. Majority of the respondents are male, 94.3 percent in public training institute and 94.6 in private. This composition considered represents the population of students in training institute offering technical and engineering courses which are dominated by male. The focus of this study is on services quality provided by training institute who offer training in the field of engineering and technical course. The private institute only offers two courses which is industrial electronic and mechatronic. There is a normal situation in private institute offering limited numbers of courses because of cost constraint and focusing on their niche area.

Table 4. Demographic information of the respondent

Public Institute Private Institut

Total Respondents 87 37

Gender Male 82 (94.3%) 35 (94.6%)

Female 5 (5.7%) 2 (5.4%)

Training Course Industrial Electronic 15 (17.2%) 21 (56.8%)

Welding 20 (23.0%) na

Industrial Mechanic 19 (21.8%) na

Mechatronic na 16(43.2%)

General Machining 16(18.4%) na

Refrigeration and Aircondidtioning 17(19.5%) na

4.2. Comparison of Students' Perceptions on Service Quality

Figure 1 presents the means score of ten service quality dimensions for both public and private institute. For the public institute the mean score is range from 3.16 the lowest to 3.98 the highest. The lowest score was physical facilities and the highest one is instructor. This also same with the private institute which the lowest mean score is physical facilities (2.62) and the highest one, instructor (3.97).

Reliability Library Support staff Support serv ices Training delivery Curriculum Instructor Training equipment Physical Facilitites Campus climate

Figure 1. Mean score of service quality

In public institute, students were particularly perceived the service quality for all dimensions are above average as the mean score for all dimensions are greater than three. While in private institute, students were dissatisfied with the physical facilities, training equipment and reliability of services as the mean score for those three dimensions were below three.

For further investigation on the different of mean for each service quality dimension between public and private institute, independent sample t-test was conducted. The result revealed that there was no statistically significant mean different in quality of instructor between public and private training institute. Nevertheless there was statistically significant mean different in other nine services quality dimension measured as shown in Table 5.

Table 5. Mean different between public and private institute

Quality Dimension Mean Score T-test sig.

Public Institute Private Institute

1. Campus environment 3.60 3.23 .009**

2. Physical Facilities 3.16 2.62 .001**

3. Training equipment 3.45 2.99 .006**

4. Instructor 3.98 3.97 .985

5. Curriculum 3.80 3.50 .044*

6. Training delivery 3.75 3.35 .009**

7. Support services 3.61 3.03 .001**

8. Support staff 3.54 3.01 .010*

9. Library 3.45 3.02 .020*

10. Reliability 3.39 2.86 .004**

Notes: Significant at *<0.05; **<0.01

Services quality provided by learning institution can be categorized into two category namely services related to training delivery and services related to supportive function. In this study dimensions that related to training implementation include instructor; training equipment; curriculum; and training delivery. While dimensions that related to supportive function including campus environment; physical facilities; support services; support staff; library; and reliability of service.

Dimensions related to training

Student's perception on the quality of instructor has no significant difference among both institutes. Mean score above 3.9 in both the institute shows trainees are satisfied with the quality of their instructor. The quality of instructor is measured in terms of qualifications and experience, delivery skills, communication skills, timely, accessible, fair attention and guidance of students. Both institute hire qualified and experienced instructor. In ensuring that instructors are competent in facilitating knowledge and skills, the institutes need to invest in instructor development by training and industrial attachment. One of the compulsory training that the instructor has to attend is pedagogical course as required by the Department of Skills Development (DSD) as accreditation agency. In public training institute, there are allocation given for the purpose of instructors training and development. Competency in both theory and practice of instructors is a key asset to the effectiveness of learning experience of the students. There are positive feedbacks received from student regarding the quality of their instructor through open ended questions that were asked in the questionnaire. The instructors are good quality; have extensive knowledge in the subject matter; friendly with students; care about the student's problem and requirement; and have capability to deliver the training effectively.

Since technical education and vocational training are dealing with practical hands-on work, training equipment is one of the most important aspects that determine the effectiveness of the training delivery. T-test analysis shows that there is significant difference of mean score between training equipment provided by public and private institute. Students in public institute are more satisfied with the training equipment provided by their institute. The mean value of 2.99 in private institute shows that the students are quiet dissatisfied. This situation must be taken seriously as training equipment is crucial in determining training effectiveness. Training equipment must be ensure in good condition and safe to used as well as sufficient for student requirement.

The important aspects of curriculum including modules are attractive and stimulate interest, related to practical work, meet the requirements the job market, quality notes and reference source provided, and complete information given to students at the beginning of the training session. The mean score of 3.80 in public institute and 3.50 in private institute indicate that students have no issues with the curriculum. Students also give positive feedback about the curriculum offered by both institute including the contents of the module are good and stimulating student interest; related to the industry requirement; and offers a variety of interesting courses.

Institutions also need to ensure the training delivery approach is suitable with the capability of students and not burden them. Some good comments from students are including systematic, easy to understand and good learning system; and extensive knowledge in the field. The training approach gives them useful experiences, meaningful lessons, and can stimulate their interest. However there is a comment that long period of training duration burden the student. In skills training, the numbers of hours for training activity is longer than academic course, because the nature of training is more on hands-on which is requiring extra duration.

Dimensions related to supportive function

Physical facilities are also important in supporting the effectiveness of training activities. It is widely recognized that the availability and the quality of physical inputs provide some indication of efficiency and quality of an educational provision (Wilkinson & Yussof, 2005). Institute should pay attention in improving the quality of physical facilities available, especially in the private training institute which the mean score is below three indicate that majority of student dissatisfied with the facilities. Physical facilities include conducive and safely classroom and workshop, equipment completed, sport and recreation facilities, cafeteria and accommodation. The result of t-tests show, there is a significant difference for the physical facilities between public and private institutes. The public institute showed a higher score than the private one. This may be due to the public institute has budget allocation from the government to provide the best facilities. While in private institutes, they are struggling to provide those facilities by themselves. However the mean score of 3.16 in public institute indicating that the level of physical facilities in public institute still in moderate. There are room for improvement since some of the respondent in the public institute are dissatisfied with the physical facilities available, such as sports facilities is not enough, uncomfortable accommodation, hygiene problem especially the dining hall, recreation room is not available for students and workshop for practical training is too small.

Physical facilities also related to the campus environment. Campus that can provide comfortable and conducive environment for learning activities is another issues concern by the students. The result of the mean different t-tests showed there is a significant difference for the campus environment between the public and private institutes. Although there are significant different, but students at public institute stated that physical appearance of the institute is not interesting and need improvements action to create conducive environment. Students in private institutes are dissatisfied with the cleanliness of the institute. However, both groups of students are satisfied with the location of the institute since the institutes are located at strategic location and easily accessible.

Other than that, the mean score for the dimension of reliability of service are relatively low compare to the others. The mean score of 2.86 in private and 3.39 public institute indicate that, students are dissatisfied with the reliability of service. The aspects of service reliability including management will do as promises; services will be given within the stipulated time; keep good records of students; customer friendly; fast service; and pay attention to the suggestion and feedback given. The reliability of service is related to the attitude and competency of support staff. The feedback from students mentioned that the support staffs are not students friendly.

Another dimension measured was support services covers counseling services; induction program for new students; student's participation and representative; feedback system; suitable regulation; concerned with safety and welfare issues and provide effective career guidance. There was significant difference in mean score between public and private institute. The mean score of 3.62 in public institute compare to 3.03 in private show that the students in public institute more satisfied with those services aspects. The support services also related to the llibrary services. The important criteria in providing library services include the availability of text books and training materials, easiness of the borrowing process, friendly customer service and convenience operating hours. Tsinidou et al., 2010, highlighted that the availability of textbooks and journals are the main factor influencing the quality of library services. Public institute got higher mean score in library services compare to the private.

4.3. Students Overall Satisfaction

Respondents were asked to provide feedback on overall satisfaction towards the institute. There are five items measuring assessment on overall quality; satisfaction with the choice to entrance this institute; happy and good experience while studying in this institute; they will come again to this institute in case for further study; and will propose to friends or relative to entrance these institutes. The overall satisfaction in public institute was 3.63 while in private institute was 2.95. T-test analysis show that there is difference in mean score between both institutes except for the item "I will come again to this institute for further study". However, there is significant difference of mean in overall satisfaction. The students in public institute were more satisfied to their institute compare to the private as the mean score of 3.63 and 2.95 respectively. This result indicates that, the management in private institute has to struggle to improve their quality of training and services provided.

Table 6. Mean score of student's overall satisfaction

Items Mean Score Public Institute Private Institute t-test sig.

1. Overall Quality 3.61 2.97 0.00*

2. Satisfied with the choice 3.77 3.05 0.00*

3. Happy/ good experience 3.80 2.81 0.00*

4. Will come again 3.36 2.86 0.05

5. Propose to friends/ relatives 3.59 2.68 0.00*

Overall Satisfaction 3.63 2.95 0.00*

Notes: Significant at *<0.01

Both type of institute have to improve their training and services provided to ensure student satisfaction. The existence of public and private institutes is complementing each other. The demand for training and education among school leavers are increased due to the awareness of the important to have skills and knowledge before entering the job market. Thus the public training institutes alone no longer able to cope with this demand. This role is supported by private institutes. Therefore the students are expected to get equal level of quality of training and services in both type of institute. However, public institutes can offer cheaper fees as the resources are

sponsored by the government and subsidized fees. While in private institute, the financial resources is borne by the company and they will not be able to offer lower fees as a public institute. Private institutions seem to play a complementary role in providing an alternative route in higher education, along with the limitations of public institutions to cater to the increasing demand for tertiary education (Da, 2007). This finding also in line with the findings of (Wilkinson & Yussof, 2005) that public universities appear to be more efficient in satisfying public demand in terms of quality of provision. Since the private sector institutions are profit-motivated, there is possibility for them to minimize the cost and maximize the profit. Although reducing the costs is efficient in term of business, it could affect the service quality. Public institution on the other hand, providing a superior quality of education because of they so well established and financed by the government.

5. Conclusion

This paper outlines the findings and analysis of the study involving student's perception towards service quality in a public and a private skills training institute. The finding perhaps indicates that the level of service quality provided by skills training institutes is moderate.The main findings of this study are:

• Student satisfaction of service quality in public institute are higher than in private institutes.

• There were significant different of students perception towards service quality provided by public and private institute. The mean score of public institute was significantly higher than private institute in all service dimensions measured except for quality of instructor. There was no significant different in quality of instructor between both institutes as perceived by students.

• Services dimensions that have lower mean scores in both institutes are physical facilities; reliability of services; and training equipment.

The findings of this study indicate that the problem of service quality in TEVT sector is due to the elements of non-training aspects. The students in both institutes are moderately satisfied with the aspects training implementation including instructor; curriculum; and training delivery. Therefore, the implications for institute managers are concentrating their efforts to creating and maintaining a facilities and environment that can support training process and satisfied the customers. They need to improve both aspects of the quality of teaching and non teaching services, in order to promptly respond to the customer.

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