Edith Cowan University, Western Australia in association with Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Thailand.
With an ever growing assortment of educational options, students seek institutions that will provide for them a unique educational experience that they will remember for a life time. In addition, the present student is a customer seeking an educational program that will prepare him/her for a successful career and gainful employment. Since institutional budgets are developed based upon projected enrolments, it is becoming crucial for private institutions to retain the students they recruit. This situation has created a need for continued research in the area of student satisfaction and student retention. A reduction in student numbers, therefore, leads to a reduction in budgeted funds available to operate, maintain, and grow a private institution. The purpose of this study is to add additional contributions to the body of work on service quality, satisfaction, and student retention in higher education. This study attempts to show the relationship between service expectations, service performance, student satisfaction, and salient student retention constructs hoping to shed new light on the research question: Is there a significant relationship between service quality, student satisfaction and student retention in higher education? The results show that there are significant relationships between service performance and student satisfaction that will aid private, post-secondary institutions to predict and measure student satisfaction and retention.