AFFECTIVE QUALITY OF EDUCATIONAL SERVICES MEASUREMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF HIGHER EDUCATION MARKETING
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Educational marketing has become an increasingly important area within Higher Education as the competition for students has intensified. Being able to measure and understand the quality of educational services – a key factor in the decision making process for a prospective student – is an incredibly challenging problem as it involves the quantitative measurement of factors such as emotions and affections towards an Institution or programme, which themselves tend to be intangible. The application of total quality management philosophy and methodology in the context of higher education today is fully acknowledged and widely used. These conditions have defined the main task of this research: to develop a methodology for quantitative measurement of the affective quality of educational services for marketing management analysis. In other words offered research investigates how to measure things that have often been considered immeasurable. It was hypothesized that availability of a methodology for quantitative estimation of the affective quality of educational services provides additional important information that ensures an effective decision-making process in the marketing department in higher education institutions.
Kansei engineering formalizes such concepts as affections and emotions and highlights their role in the purchase decision-making process. Our KanMar (short for Kansei Marketing) approach is aimed on the implementation of the main Kansei engineering ideas in the context of educational marketing and provides the framework for the quantitative measurement of educational services’ affective quality. KanMar enables the formalization of the affective quality of educational services for its marketing analysis: comparison, prediction, control, etc. The results of such an analysis help to position own services in today’s competitive market more effectively. Data obtained using KanMar methodology enables to find out the stakeholders’ implicit motivations or attitudes. So, for example, data obtained during the conducted survey has indirectly confirmed the students’ orientation to the practical activity. This orientation is typical for the Universities of Applied Sciences and the respondents for this survey have all been students at one of them. KanMar approach also addresses major gaps of existing instruments based on SERVQUAL methodology aimed to measure service quality in education. The hypothesis was tested and partly confirmed using case study that illustrates the application of the KanMar approach.
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