Learning from student expectations of higher education: a study in a public university in Malaysia

Premalatha Karupiah, Intan Hashimah Mohd Hashim, Norzarina Mohd-Zaharim


This study looks at the expectations of undergraduate students in one public university in Malaysia with regard to the introduction of the Accelerated Program for Excellence (APEX). The university has undergone major transformations, which consequently influence the expectations of students. This paper uses two sets of data: data collected through six focus group interviews and data from responses to a series of open-ended questions. These open-ended questions were part of a bigger survey consisting of 275 undergraduates, but only responses related to the open-ended section were included in this analysis. Student expectations can be categorized into expectations related to educational qualification and their projected future; teaching, learning and assessment; and information technology and communication. We suggest that universities need to take into consideration students’ realistic expectations and manage unrealistic expectations. We also argue that universities need to be cautious in viewing students as consumers in order to function as institutions that generate and disseminate knowledge to students.


APEX university; Malaysia; Accelerated Program for Excellence; student expectations; service gap; service quality

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14234/elehe.v6i1.72