Attitudes toward Student-Customer Concept: Educational Level,
Institution Status and Interdisciplinary Studies
Attitudes toward Student-Customer Concept: Educational Level, Institution Status and Interdisciplinary Studies
Proceedings of the International Conference on Society and Information Technologies (ICSIT), Orrlando, USA., (April, 6-9, 2010), 324-329
The study explores student attitudes toward treating students as customers in fundamental and higher educations based on three units of analysis−educational levels (undergrad vs. graduate), institution status (public vs. private), and interdisciplinary (technology, engineering, and business). It also examines students’ opinions toward using the student-customer concept in higher education. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed to answer the research questions. The quantitative analysis results indicate that, in overall, students disagree to use the student-customer concept in fundamental and higher educations. In particular, undergraduate students disagree to use the student-customer concept more than graduate students do. Students in public and private universities have no significant difference regarding their attitudes toward using the student- customer concept. Engineering students have negative attitudes toward using the student-customer concept in both fundamental and higher educations more than business and technology students have. The qualitative analysis results indicate that some students prefer the student-customer concept to be used in higher education as universities/colleges will improve their service quality for students. In contrast, most students perceive that using the student-customer concept in higher education will degenerate instructor’s attention and instructor-student relationship, alter the main objective of educational institutions, and negatively affect the society. The study reports the analysis results and discusses the findings, implications and limitations.