The bridge between real and ideal: Students perception on quality gap in reality and their educational expectations

Background: Studies in higher education indicated that students’ expectation for their educational services are not provided sufficiently,particularly in developing countries that implies on gap between the students perception on current situation and their expectations from educational services.Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the gap between student perception and expectations of students in various levels of the undergraduate educational courses at Urmia University of Medical Sciences,Iran.Patients and Methods: This is a longitudinal study,which was conducted in academic year 2007-2008 at the Urmia University of Medical Sciences.In total,173 students were selected as sample size,among various courses.SERVQUAL questionnaire was used as instrument.Descriptive statistics following by Friedman and Wilcoxon tests were used to determining significance of quality gap between five dimensions and to evaluate significant gap between student perceptions and their expectations,respectively.Spearman test was also used to determine the relationship between dimensions.Results: In overall,80% of educational expectations were not meet;there was a negative gap at all phrases and dimensions and the gap was more negative for educational experts (-1.45 ± 0.89) compared to teachers (-0.97 ± 0.97).The highest gap for teachers was in empathy dimension (-1.11 ± 1.51),while for experts it was in assurance dimension (-1.58 ± 1).Conclusions: Existences of gap in dimensions indicated that expectations of students are not met and it indicates their dissatisfaction,and thus it is a necessity for improvement in all dimensions.© 2014,Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal.

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