Title: The image and academic expectations of South African and Malaysian university students

Authors: Johan W. De Jager, Werner Soontiens

Addresses: Department of Marketing, Logistics and Sport Management, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa. ' School of Management, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia

Abstract: Tertiary institutions across the globe are facing challenges brought about by globalisation, internationalisation and government policy transformations in higher education. Attracting quality students in a highly competitive education environment is crucial, as poor retention ratios are a cause of concern and government funding is consequently being influenced adversely. In striving to maintain a respectable and viable market share, sound marketing principles should be applied as universities compete for quality students to service them for the duration of studies. This paper examines and compares the criteria used by South African and Malaysian students when choosing or evaluating a tertiary institution. Both countries are emerging countries where education not only is recognised as a crucial driving force, but where the accessibility of education is politically important. The main findings are (amongst others) that the most important attributes for South African students are the institutional reputation and reasonable tuition fees, while Malaysian students consider the reputation of the study programme and informed academic staff as most important.

Keywords: service quality; higher education; South Africa; Malaysia; image; reputation; expectations; university students; student expectations; emerging economies; tuition fees; academic staff.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEX.2009.024448

International Journal of Business Excellence, 2009 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.285 - 300

Available online: 04 Apr 2009 *

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