John Mariampillai, Shameem Shaffi


In the United Kingdom (UK) higher education policy changes, especially since 2010, focus on supporting quasi-markets by allowing greater institutional competition and student choice. The decision to open-up the higher education market to alternative providers has resulted in the remarkable growth of providers gaining access to public-backed funding. There has been very little empirical study on alternative providers and/or students within alternative provider institutions, especially in the context of students studying for a degree programme. Using both the education and marketing literature, this article examines students’ perspectives on their educational experiences. This article reports on the outcomes of a small survey conducted with learners within alternative providers in the UK to capture learners’ satisfaction with their educational experience.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


student satisfaction; quality; funding; alternative providers

Full Text:



Altbach, P., G. (2005). The Private Higher Education Revolution: An Introduction. In: Altbach, P., G. and Levy, D., C. (ed.) Private Higher Education: A global Revolution. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Angell, R. J., Heffernan, T. W. and Megicks, P. (2008) Service quality in postgraduate education. Quality Assurance in Education, 16(3), p.236-254.

Appleton-Knapp, S. L. and Krentler, K. A. (2015). Measuring student expectations and their effects on satisfaction: the importance of managing student expectations, Journal of Marketing Education, 28(3), p. 254-264.

Binsardi, A. and Ekwulugo, F. (2003). International marketing of British Education: research on the students’ perception and the UK market penetration. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 21(5), p.318-327.

Elliott, K. M. and Shin, D. (2002). Student satisfaction: an alternative approach to assessing this important concept. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 24 (2), p.197-209.

Douglas, J., Douglas, A. and Barnes, B. (2006). Measuring student satisfaction at a UK university. Quality Assurance in Education, 14(3), p. 251-267.

Henning-Thurau, T. Langer, M. F. And Hansen, U. (2001). Modelling and managing student loyalty: an approach based on the concept of relationship quality, Journal of Service Research, 3 (4), p. 331-344.

Higher Education Statistics Agency (2018). Higher Education Student Statistics: Alternative Providers, 2016/17 - Summary [Online]. Available at: (Accessed on 12/07/19).

Hill, Y., Lomas, L. and MacGregor, J. (2003). Students’ perceptions of quality in higher education. Quality Assurance in Education, 11(1), p. 15-20.

Hodson, P. and Thomas, H. (2001). Higher Education as an International Commodity: ensuring quality in partnership. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 26 (2), p. 101-112.

House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts (2018). Alternative Higher Education Providers: Twenty-Third Report of Session 2017–19 (HC736), London: The House of Commons.

Hunt, S. and Boliver, V. (2019). Private providers of higher education in the UK: mapping the terrain, 47.

Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., Whitt, E. J. et al. (2005). Student Success in College: Creating Conditions that Matter. Jossey-Bass: Washington.

Mariampillai, J. (2014). Collaborative provision within UK higher education: perceptions of stakeholders of UK and Sri Lankan private colleges offering university degrees in business and management. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of West London, London.

Mariampillai, J. (2019). Private Providers and the Expansion of Collaborative Higher Education in the UK: Unintended Effects of Deregulation? Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 6(9) p. 97-104.

Maringe, F. and Carter, S. (2007). International students’ motivations for studying in UK HE: Insights into the choice and decision making of African students. International Journal of Education Management, 21(6), p. 459-475.

Mazirah Yusoff, McLeay, F and Woodruffe-Burton, H. (2015). Dimensions driving business student satisfaction in higher education. Quality Assurance in Education, 23(1), p. 86 – 104.

Mazzarol, T. (1998). Critical success factors for international education marketing. International Journal of Educational Management, 12(4), p. 163-175.

Moslehpour, M., Chau, K. Y., Zheng, J., Hanjani, A. N. and Hoang, M. (2020). The mediating role of international student satisfaction in the influence of higher education service quality on institutional reputation in Taiwan. International Journal of Engineering Business Management, 12, p.1-16.

Oldfield, B. M. and Baron, S. (2000). Student perceptions of service quality in a UK university business and management faculty. Quality Assurance in Education, 8 (2), p.85-95.

Price, I., Matzdorf, F., Smith, L. and Agahi, H. (2003). The impact of facilities on student choice of university, Facilities, 21 (10), pp. 212-22.

Purgailis, M. and Zaksa, K. (2012). The Impact of Perceived Service Quality on Student Loyalty in Higher Education Institutions’, Journal of Business Management, (4) p. 138–152.

Rolfe, H. (2002). Students’ demands and expectations in an age of reduced financial support: the perspectives of lecturers in four English universities. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 24(2), p.171-182.

Shank, M. D., Walker, M. and Hayes, T. (1995). Understanding professional service expectations: do we know what our students expect in a quality education? Journal of Professional services Marketing, 13 (1) pp.71-83.

Shury, J., Adams, L., Barnes, M., Huntley, Hewitt, J., and Oozeerally, T. (2016). Understanding the market of alternative higher education providers and their students in 2014. London: IFF Research.

Singh, S. and Jasial, S. S. (2020). Moderating effect of perceived trust on service quality–student satisfaction relationship: evidence from Indian higher management education institutions. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 31(4), p.1-25.

Students Loan Company (2018) Student Support for Higher Education in England 2018 [Online] Available at: (Accessed on 10/11/21).

Telford, R. and Masson, R. (2005). The congruence of quality values in higher education, Quality Assurance in Education, 13(2), p. 107-119.

Thomas, E. H. and Galambos, N. (2004). What satisfies students? Mining student-opinion data with regression and decision tree analysis, Research in Higher Education, 45(3), p.251-269.

University and College Union (2014). The private providers’ ‘designation’ bonanza (UCU briefing), London: University and College Union.

Voss, R. and Gruber, T. (2006). The desired teaching qualities of lecturers in higher education: a means end analysis. Quality Assurance in Education, 14(3), p. 217-242.

Wilson, H. K. and Cotgrave, A. J. (2016). Factors that influence students' satisfaction with their physical learning environments. Structural Survey, 34 (3). p. 256-275.

Zeithaml, V. A. Bitner, M. J. Gremler, D. D. (2008). Services Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus across the Firm, 5th Ed., McGraw-Hill, Boston, MA.

Zeithaml, V. A., Parasuraman, A. and Berry, L. L. (1990). Delivering Quality Service: Balancing Customer Perceptions and Expectations, The Free Press, New York, NY.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 John Mariampillai, Shameem Shaffi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2022. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).