A framework for analysing higher education performance: students' satisfaction, perceived learning outcomes, and dropout intentions Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2014

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 21


  • 1-2


  • 25

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1478-3363

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1478-3371


  • Drawing on Tinto's [1975. Dropout from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of Educational Research, 45(1), 89-125] dropout-intentions model, Bean's [1985. Interaction effects based on class level in an explanatory model of college student dropout syndrome. American Educational Research Journal, 22(1), 35-64] socialisation model, Astin's [1999. Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Development, 40(5), 518-529] involvement theory, and the service marketing literature, this research presents a conceptual framework for analysing students' satisfaction, perceived learning outcomes, and dropout intentions. This framework allows for a better understanding of how students assess the university experience and how these perceptions affect future intentions. This article presents four studies testing fragments of the framework using data sets from three countries and various undergraduate programmes (business, economics, geography, and nursing). The models are tested using structural equation modelling with data collected using a questionnaire adapted to the specific contexts. The models have the ability to explain the studies' dependent variables and offer practical utility for decision-making. Applicability of the conceptual framework is evaluated in various contexts and with different student populations. One important finding is that student co-creation can be as important as perceived service quality in explaining students' cognitive learning outcomes, which in turn explain a high percentage of satisfaction and affective learning outcomes. The studies also shed light on the roles of variables such as emotional exhaustion and dropout intentions.


  • service quality; university-students; dominant logic; model; burnout; perceptions; engagement; attrition