Quality service delivery in tertiary institutions in Ghana: a comparative study of public and private universities

Alomenu, Clemence (2023) Quality service delivery in tertiary institutions in Ghana: a comparative study of public and private universities. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


The tertiary educational sector contributes significantly to the socio-economic and cultural development of Ghana and is crucial to the world economy at large. The sector is however becoming more dynamic and increasingly competitive, and has been beset with many challenges including inappropriate governance practices. Researchers have indicated that in competitive milieu, measurement of service quality using country-specific scales would speedily help identify problems, adequately improve service performance, better evaluate consumer satisfaction and enhance competitive advantage. However, there is a dearth of empirical investigations in Ghana’s tertiary education context that apply country-specific measures to assess and compare perceived service quality levels provided by the Ghanaian public and private university sectors and its effect on student satisfaction via perceived value.

To address this gap based on literature reviewed, a conceptual model and ten hypotheses were proposed for this study. To test the hypotheses and conceptual model, a mixed methods research design underpinned by a pragmatist philosophy was employed that comprised two phases. The first phase involved qualitative research using four focus group discussions, whose responses were analysed by thematic analysis to develop a scale for University Governance, which was subjected to content validity assessment. The scale was then used alongside other measures to design a survey questionnaire for the second phase, this being the main cross-sectional quantitative research. Quantitative data was obtained by administering a pre-tested questionnaire on 800 undergraduate and postgraduate students selected by a four-stage process of purposive, cluster, stratified and simple random sampling methods. Confirmatory factor analysis, partial least square structural equation modelling and T-test were employed in the analysis of the quantitative data and the testing of the hypotheses.

The key findings are that five dimensions (environmental adequacy in study factor, university governance, teaching methodology, placement, and access listed in ranking order of highest first) with 22 scale items are positively and significantly related to perceived service quality. These dimensions constitute a measurement scale constructed to assess service delivery in Ghana’s universities. The findings also show that there are significant differences between the Ghanaian public and private university sectors in terms of students’ perceptions of teaching methodology, placement and university governance dimensions. The findings further revealed that student perceived value mediates the association between perceived service quality and overall student satisfaction. However, the direct effect of perceived service quality on overall student satisfaction is greater than the indirect effect.

The evidence from this study suggests that universities in Ghana need to consistently monitor and improve perceived service quality to enhance student satisfaction and delight. Managers of universities should be motivated to accept service quality as a major strategic tool to become market-oriented and competitive. Despite the limitations identified, which did not adversely affect the results of the study, the study makes a theoretical contribution to knowledge in conceptualisation and measurement of university service quality as it synthesises literature in a manner to build a model that introduces university governance as one new dimension of university service quality. The added value of this study emanates from comparing public and private universities based on country-specific dimensions of university service quality. This study thus contributes to the understanding of service quality in the Ghanaian university context.

Clemence Alomenu_Final PhD Thesis_Londonmet Uni_April 2023.pdf - Published Version

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