Impact of Learning Environment and Learning Context on Student Satisfaction: A Comparative Study of Postgraduate Students from Asia
The growth of the international education market with increasing export income has created a highly competitive environment among education providers worldwide. WTO reports that this market is now worth around $27 billion a year (Alderman, 2001) while IDP Australia has estimated an increase in the number of students seeking higher education overseas at 7.2 million by 2025. This alludes to the attractiveness of the international education market in the form of both pecuniary and non pecuniary benefits to provider nations and the higher educational institutions and hence the need for strategies to maintain a globally competitive position. This paper looks at the impact of the learning environment and the learning context on student satisfaction among international postgraduate students from Asia studying in Australian universities. The growing competition requires provider institutions to be highly responsive to the needs and aspirations of the diverse student community and to deliver services to create satisfaction and loyalty, which would be critical in sustaining a competitive position. The study, based on the expectancy-disconfirmation paradigm, and a model of post choice satisfaction in the educational setting, uses logistic regression, MANOVA, ANOVA and chi square testing, investigates factors relevant to student learning environment and the learning context to assess satisfaction levels of these students. The sample size used in the study is 371 and is drawn from a mail survey of five leading universities in Australia.
Keywords: Learning, University, International Students, Asia, Satisfaction
Mr Wayne Binney
Lecturer, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Marketing, Victoria University
Lecturer, Bowater School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University