Developing Innovative Support Structures in Higher Education Institutions: A Student Perspective
Higher education institutions have been obliged to work extremely hard to ensure their sustainability and growth to meet the ever-increasing demands of university students, parents, and stakeholders. Universities have been under great pressure to remain competitive with a great deal of emphasis placed on being innovative, building auxiliary structures, and acquiring qualified academics. The concept of service delivery of academic departments in universities of technology has received minimal attention. This study explored student expectations and perceptions of service quality provided by academic support departments with the intention of enhancing the level of student satisfaction and experience. A quantitative research approach was employed using questionnaires. A nonprobability convenience sampling was adopted to identify 260 students. Data were coded and analyzed for descriptive analysis using SPSS Version 23.0. The findings revealed that many students were not content with various services provided by the academic departments within the university and that the academic departments did not offer students the services that they expected. The dimension of SERVQUAL displayed a negative gap in services provided by academic administrative staff. On the basis of these findings, it is recommended that the university attends to the identified key areas of concern, particularly administrative staff competency.