Enrolling in higher education: the perceptions of stakeholders

Mahsood Shah, Chenicheri Nair

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There is a substantial body of research on student satisfaction, retention and student engagement in higher education; however, there is limited research on student image or perception of a university and factors contributing towards choosing a particular university. In the current, highly competitive environment universities are seeking to identify exactly what differentiates them from other institutions. In particular, it is important to understand what attracts prospective students to one university rather than another, and to ensure that these expectations are met once they enrol. Failure to meet student expectations may result in student withdrawal, which limits students’ chances to participate in higher education. Fierce competition between universities and private higher education facilities provides opportunity for students to enrol in institutions better able to listen to student voices and able cater for students’ needs. Students’ image or perception of a university and reasons for choosing to study in a particular university could be based on various characteristics and attributes of the university. Such image or perception may differ based on the diverse student groups such as recent school leavers, mature age adults and international students. This article is based on a study conducted in a large Australian university and outlines the key findings that include: key factors influencing student choice to study with a university, student perception of the first preferred institution compared with their perception of four other Australian metropolitan universities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-15
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Institutional Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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