International student complaint behaviour: Understanding how East-Asian business and management students respond to dissatisfaction during their university experience

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Abstract

The higher education sector is characterised by intense global competition for international students. This is driving universities to place greater priority on the student experience and, in particular, student satisfaction and retention. However, an under-researched area is student complaint behaviour. By understanding how students react to poor experiences; the likely impact on the learning and teaching experience, satisfaction ratings and ultimately international student recruitment can be assessed, and appropriate strategies implemented. This study developed an instrument that measured East-Asian students’ preferred university complaint channels. The research focused on four categories of complaint behaviour: public, private, third party and non-behavioural, and data were collected from 135 East-Asian Business and Management students. A vignette questioning technique was used, providing respondents with hypothetical negative student experiences and recording their likely responses in terms of both how and where they would complain. Results suggest international students are pro-active in reporting dissatisfaction direct to the university, but also share these negative experiences with fellow students. The findings offer new insights to those responsible for managing the student experience and, in particular, for those tasked with handling student complaints.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-66
JournalInternational Journal of Management Education
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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