Measurement of perceived service quality in higher education institutions. A review of HEdPERF scale use

Published date04 September 2017
Date04 September 2017
AuthorDanilo Soares Silva,Gustavo Hermínio Salati Marcondes de Moraes,Ieda Kanashiro Makiya,Francisco Ignácio Giocondo Cesar
Subject MatterEducation,Curriculum, instruction & assessment,Educational evaluation/assessment
Measurement of perceived
service quality in higher
education institutions
A review of HEdPERF scale use
Danilo Soares Silva,Gustavo Hermínio Salati Marcondes de Moraes
and Ieda Kanashiro Makiya
Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Faculdade de Ciências Aplicadas,
São Paulo, Brazil, and
Francisco Ignácio Giocondo Cesar
IFSP, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de São Paulo,
São Paulo, Brazil
Purpose This study aims to nd evidenceof the HEdPERF scale use for measuring the perceived service
qualityfrom the perspectiveof students in higher education institutions (HEIs) worldwide.
Design/methodology/approach A systematic reviewof the literature was conducted to nd evidence
of the scale use in articles publishedbetween January 2005 and May 2017, according to databases Emerald,
SciELO, Scopus, Web of Science, and Wiley OnlineLibrary. The articles were searched on the databases on
Jun 17, 2017 and at the end of the selectionof articles, were kept 12 distinct documents.
Findings The articles found pointed towardsclassic SERVQUAL and SERVPERF scales as being well
substantiated for measuring perceived service quality. The HEdPERF scale was applied in articles about
perceived service qualityin HEI in studies in Brazil, China, Croatia, India, Malaysia, Portugal, Sri Lanka and
Originality/value The paper attempts to gather somearticles on the measurement of service quality in
higher educationinstitutions, by the HEdPERF scale use. This studyindicates that SERVPERF scale can also
be an appropriate model to measure service quality in HEI context,that is, it is not yet possible to defend a
single instrumentas a standard for this purpose.
Keywords Service quality, Service performance, Higher education institutions, HEdPERF scale
Paper type Literature review
Considering the international competitiveness in virtually all markets, if not all,
providing good-quality services is key for success and many specialists agree that
service quality is the most powerful competitive trend nowadays (Abdullah, 2005).
Hence, global competitiveness also takes place among higher education institutions
(HEI), which compete to attract the highest number of students and the best among them.
The authors thank Espaço da Escrita Coordenadoria Geral da Universidade UNICAMP for the
language services provided.
service quality
Received 26 October 2016
Revised 23 June 2017
Accepted 10 July 2017
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.25 No. 4, 2017
pp. 415-439
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-10-2016-0058
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
According to Alves (2003), the factorsthat attract undergraduate students to an HEI are:
quality of education, reputation, accessibility, location and academic environment, among
others. For Bronemann and Silveira (2004), the essential factors for choosing an HEI are:
employability, image of an HEI, physical structure of the institution, diversied and
computerized library, teachersgraduation level, recognition of the HEI by the community
as being of quality, among others. For Silva Kalil and Gonçalves Filho (2012, p. 131), the
choice of an HEI by undergraduate students of the Computer Science course is decided
through the evaluation of the value of the diploma in the market, brand reputation, quality
of education, teachers and infrastructure.The Times Higher Education World University
Rankings (2017) classication ranks universities worldwide by analyzing all of their
fundamental missions: teaching, research, transference of knowledge and international
As the quality of services provided and student satisfaction are essential for the
survival of an HEI in the educational market (Vieira et al., 2008), many researches have
dealt with the theme service quality in HEIs, such as the adaptations of the SERVQUAL
(Parasuraman et al., 1988) and SERVPERF (Cronin and Taylor, 1992) scales, as well as
the development of new instruments such as HEdPERF (Abdullah, 2005), HEDQUAL
(Icli and Anil, 2014) scale and other scales developed by individual authors.
For Abdullah (2005), the generality of the SERVQUAL and SERVPERF scales is still
hazy when they are replicated to evaluate perceived HEI quality, as, even with studies
on service quality, there remain unresolved questions, mainly in regards to the most
proper measurement instrument for evaluating each type of service. For Jelena (2010,p.
[...] in fact, the use of the most appropriate measurement tool would help managers to assess
service quality provided by institutions, thus having the ability to use the results to better design
service delivery.
Thus, Abdullah (2005) created a new measurementscale that was based on the SERVPERF
scale, which considers the specic determinants of service quality in higher education
(dened in his research as: non-academic aspects, academic aspects, reputation, access,
program issues and understanding), named HEdPERF. Some of these determinants, which
are observed from studentspoints of view, are mentioned by other authors (Alves, 2003;
Bronemann and Silveira,2004;Silva Kalil and Gonçalves Filho, 2012). As Icli and Anil (2014)
point out, HEdPERF is the mostdeveloped scale in the literature to measure service quality
in higher education.
As mentioned by Croom (2009), an essential part of any academic research is to review
the academic literature that exists about interest. In addition, the higher education sector
is playing an increasingly important role in developing the economy of many nations
(Ali et al., 2016). Thus, it is interesting to carry out a literature review on the measurement
of service quality in HEIs, more specically on the use of the HEdPERF scale for this
The aim of this paper is to obtain an opinion of the use of the HEdPERF scale for
measuring perceived service quality from the perspective of students in HEI
Scales for measuring service quality in HEI (SERVQUAL, SERVPERF and
Initially, it is interesting to point out that service quality is an abstract and an illusory
construction, as most services have three unique characteristics: they are intangible

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