ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT’S SATISFACTION WITH EDUCATION QUALITY AT VIETNAM FORESTRY UNIVERSITY

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ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT’S SATISFACTION WITH

EDUCATION QUALITY AT VIETNAM FORESTRY UNIVERSITY

IN THE PERIOD 2015-2016

SUMMARY

This research was implemented to assess the student’s satisfaction with education training at Vietnam Forestry University(VFU), a leading facility for training high-quality human resources in the field of forestry of the country. Researchers used questionnaires to collect data from 345 students, at the Institution No. 1 of Hanoi city and Institution No.2 in Dong Nai province, in August and September 2015. The analytical method discovering factor (EFA) and linear regression method are used to determine each factor’s role on student’s satisfaction. The results have shown that the student’s satisfaction with education quality at VFU is quite high, getting GPA of 3.47/5; lecturers, study environment and student’s services are three most important factors affecting the student’s satisfaction. The results of research have proposed some solutions to improve education quality and help VFU become multisectoral, advanced and modern university in the period.

Keywords: Education quality, Vietnam Forestry University, Satisfaction, Human resources

  1. INTRODUCTION

Vietnam Forestry University was established under Decision No. 127/CP dated August 19th, 1964 by Prime Minister (MARD 2006). After more than 50 years of construction and development, VFU has gradually developed and become a core leading university of the country  about training scientific and technical forestry personnel in both undergraduate and postgraduate level. School has trained over 32,000 engineers and bachelors; over 1,500 masters and hundreds of doctorates for the forestry sector until 2014, contributed to provide high-quality human resources serving for the industrialization and modernization of the country. (Tran anh Trinh 2014).

VFU development strategy is to become the multisectoral, advanced and modern university, (MARD 2013). Besides, the scheme for forestry sector’s restructure is in the process of implementation posing the problem of sustainable development of high quality human resources. In order to meet these problems,  school needs a breakthrough for improving education quality which reassesses the current training under the objective perspective of learners, leading the reasonable adjustments

The overall objective of this research was to improve education quality’s understanding of VFU, through student’s satisfaction, so as to propose solutions to improve education quality at school. The specific objectives include: (1) Finding out the student’s satisfaction with education quality of Vietnam Forestry University, (2) Analyzing of factors which affects to student satisfaction, (3 Proposing solutions according to the priority.

 

  1. METHODOLOGY OF RESEARCH
    • Theoretical basis

Satisfaction is an excited or disappointed feeling of a person, which comes from a comparison with expectations of product or service quality (Kotler and Keller 2011). According to Bui and Dao (2013) resulting from (CFI 2007), satisfaction appears when the results in accordant with expectations or the received results exceed expectations. Vice versa, frustration appears when the results are poorer than expections.

 

Education is acknowledged as a kind of service, Bui and Dao (2013) guiding (Siskos et al., 2005) suggest that the overall satisfaction of students with educational services depends on four groups of criteria including: training, infrastructure, administrative support, and the images of Faculty.

Besides, it is shown throuth results of a recent researches in Vietnam that student’s satisfaction with education quality at some universities depending on some factors such as: infrastructure, lecturers, education programs, servicing capacity, staff costume and course information, working area and application of information technology (Tran, 2009, Ma 2011, Bui and Dao in 2013, Nguyen and Thai in 2013).

On the other hand, in the report updating the situation of Vietnam university education, there are 11 important aspects are mentioned, observed, analyzed including: English proficiency, regional trends, gender equality, enrollment, teaching, learning activities, research, infrastrucure, assessment, connecting with businesses and private sector, autonomy (Isaac et al. 2014). According to the authors, Vietnam needs to focus on these 11 elements in order to improve education quality at universities.

 

  • Research models of proposal and scale

On the basis of inheriting the theories and results of experimental study, the researchers propose the factor models affecting to student’s satisfaction with education quality at VUF as follows:

 

The author selected and proposed the scale systems in this research with 6 groups of elements (Figure 01) with 37 observed variables, as follows:

Training program elements (5 observed variables): The training program is targeted with clear learning outcomes; The training program is fully informed to students; The training program that meets the later professional development requirements; The training program is updated regularly; The subjects are arranged and sufficiently notified to students.

Lecturer factors (8 variables): Highly qualified lecturers, the extensive professional training; Lecturers have good communication methods which are easy to understand; Lecturers often use information technology to support teaching; Lecturers guarantee class hours and lesson plans; Lecturers have close and friendly attitudes with students; Lecturers are willing to share their knowledge and experiences with students; Lecturers could assess the learning outcomes accurately; Students are sufficiently notified the teaching plans and assessment indicators of learning outcomes.

Elements of Facilities (7 variables): Documents of each subject are notified fully and diversely; Classrooms are met the learning needs of students in the class; Reference sources in library are rich, various, and easy to lookup; Library has space, seatings that can meet the  educational needs, students’ research; Classes have a reasonable numbers of students; Online- applications – internet searches, websites serve effectively for teaching and learning; Facilities for spacious, modern, diversified sports and physical education meet the sport needs of students.

Elements of student’s services (4 variables): Management personnel (Board of Education, Deans of Department or Subjects) resolve satisfactorily the students’ requirements; The judge and announment of marks is made quickly, accurately and meet students needs; Administrative staff (Protection groups of school, Administrator, Secretary of Department, Divisions), have good attitude and respect students; Academic advising activity, careers meet the needs of students.

Cultural, sporty factors, (4 variables): School often organizes the artistic exchange (with the participation of students inside and outside of school) meet the entertainment needs of the students; Various, fascinating cultural activities are organized by the Youth Union, Union of Students, Faculty, School meet the entertainment needs of students; School often organizes physical education and sporty activities meeting the students needs; The attractive multiform activities of physical education and sport are done professionally meeting the student needs.

The learning environment factors (5 variables): School has campus, clean amphitheater, with a lot of trees giving fresh, pleasant sense meeting the environmental needs of students; Friendly harmonious learning environment meet needs of safety, closeness and the comfortable feeling of students; Buildings of administrators, campus, amphitheater with beautiful architectural design meet the aesthetic needs of students; The flower gardens, bonsai and green trees are arranged in harmony, resonableness, diverse with the aesthetic needs of students; Security in school is good (without occuring theft, robbing property; disturbing by strangers… etc) meeting the safety of student needs;

Satisfaction (4 variables): The training program meets the personal expectations; Knowledge gains from the study program which can help students to find jobs after school; The tuition of program corresponding to education quality; you will satisfy with the training program and learning environment at Vietnam University of Forestry.

  • Data collection

The research team investigated data from August to September 2015. The direct, random and convenient interviewing methods are used. With a total of 345 students participated in the interview, in which 154 students in Hano, Institution No.1  and 191 students in Dong Nai, Institution No.2. In a questionnaire survey of 41 questions was distributed in 8 groups of categories, including: (1) program training, (2) lecturers, (3) facilities, (4) ability of responding student services, (5) culture, sports, (6) the learning environment, (7) general assessment and (8) the personal information. The questions from groups 1 to 7 are designed as Likert scale. Each question will have comments on the interview topics and students are asked to give their agreement with the statement in 5 levels: Strongly agree, agree, normally, disagree and strongly disagree. SPSS software version 22 was used to support the work characterizing the sample, exploring factors and regression analysis.

  • Discovery and analysis of factors

The purpose of discovery and analysis of factors is to identify the important variables, to determine the factors group serving for the next step is the regression analysis. According to Dinh Phi Ho (2011) discovery and analysis of factors must consider under the following 5 criteria:

  1. The reliability of the scale (Cronbach’s alpha coefficient > 0.6)
  2. The reliability of the observed variables (Factor loading >0,5)
  3. Verification of the model appropriateness (0,5<KMO<1)
  4. Inspection of Bartlett on correlation of observed variables (Sig.<0,05)
  5. Check the cumulative variance (Cummulative variance >50%)
    • Adjustment in the scales system

After removing 14 unsuitable observed variables, the researchers have taken discovery and alalysis of factors with 23 observed variables. Names and symbols details of variables are rearranged and presented in Table 01 as follows:

Table 01. System of scales after inspection

Explains about affected factors (the independent variable) Symbol
Factor 1

The observed variables

Lecturers

 

Lectures have high qualified and extensive professional skills

Lecturers have understandable and good communication methods

Lecturers ensure class hours and lesson plans

Lecturers have close and friendly attitude to student

Lecturers are willing to share knowledge and experiences with students

Lecturers assess learning outcomes accurately and fairly

X1

 

LEC1

LEC2

LEC3

LEC5

LEC6

LEC7

Factor 2

The observed variables

Facilities

 

Syllabus and documents of each subject are notified fully, variously

Classrooms meet the learning needs of students in class

Library has a rich, varied, convenient  reference sources to lookup

Library ensures the space, seatings which can meet educational needs, researching of students

The  modern, various facilities for sport and physical education meet the sporty needs of students.

X2

 

INF1

INF2

INF3

 

INF4

 

INF5

Factor 3

The observed variables

The learning environment

 

School has campus, clean amphitheater, with a lot of trees giving fresh, pleasant sense meeting the environmental needs of students;

Friendly harmonious learning environment meet needs of safety, closeness and the comfortable feeling of students;

Buildings of administrators, campus, amphitheater with beautiful architectural design meet the aesthetic needs of students;

The flower gardens, bonsai and green trees are arranged in harmony, resonableness, diverse with the aesthetic needs of students;

X3

 

ENV1

 

 

ENV2

 

ENV3

 

ENV4

Factor 4

The observed variables

Sports and Culture

 

School often organizes the artistic exchange (with the participation of students inside and outside of school) meet the entertainment needs of the students;

The various, fascinating cultural activities meet the entertainment needs of students;

School often organizes physical education and sporty activities meeting the students needs;

X4

 

CS1

 

 

CS2

 

CS3

Factor 5

The observed variables

Training Program

 

The training program is fully informed to students;

The training program is updated regularly;

The subjects are arranged and sufficiently notified to students.

X5

 

CIR1

CIR2

CIR3

Factor 6

The observed variables

Ability to meet the student services

 

Management personnel (Board of Education, Deans of Department or Subjects…) resolve satisfactorily the students’ requirements

The judge and announment of marks is made quickly, accurately

X6

 

SER1

 

SER2

Source: Data from survey in 2015

  • Regression analysis

The general regression models were adjusted after discovery and analysis of factors as the following form:

Experimental models (linear regression) of factors affecting to the overall satisfaction with

the following form:

SAT =

In particular, the variables in a linear regression model are explained in Table 02. There are 06 scales of independent factors (23 observed variables) and 01 scale of dependent factor (4 observed variables).

Table 02. Interpretation on the variables in a linear regression model

Names of factors Symbol The observed variables in factors Sign of expectations
Student satisfaction SAT SAT1, SAT2, SAT3, SAT4  
Lecturers X1 LEC1, LEC2, LEC3, LEC4, LEC5, LEC6 +
Infrastructures X2 INF1, INF2, INF3, INF4, INF5 +
Study environment X3 ENV1, ENV2, ENV3, ENV4 +
Culture and Sports X4 CS1, CS2, CS3 +
Education program X5 CIR1, CIR2, CIR3 +
Ability to meet the student services X6 SER1, SER2 +

Source: Data from survey in 2015

 

  1. RESULTS OF RESEARCH

3.1. Characteristics of the survey sample

The researchers used the stratified, random method for choosing the survey sample. Respondents were students studying in universities in the Institution No.1, Hanoi city and Institution No. 2, Dong Nai province. The results of survey showed that 57.97% of female students and 42.03% of male ones using this sample. Sophomore and junior form the majority rea 46.09% and  43.48% in turn. Most of students study in Accounting Department at the rate of 26%, Faculty of Forest Resources Management accounts for 13.62% and Silviculture (9.86%), the others are in other fields. Detailed characteristics of the the survey sample by gender, courses, majors and academic ability of students is presented in Table 03.

 

 

 

Table 03. Information of the survey sapmple according to major, training facilities at VFU

  Institution No. 1-Hanoi Institution No.2, Dong Nai Total
Number of Samples

(People)

Proportion (%) Number of Samples

(People)

Proportion (%) Number of Samples

(People)

Proportion (%)
1.Sex            
Male 51 33,12 94 49,21 145 42,03
Female 103 66,88 97 50,79 200 57,97
2.Course            
The first year 1 0,60 0 0,00 1 0,29
The second year 75 48,70 84 44,00 159 46,09
The third year 68 44,20 82 42,9 150 43,48
The fourth year 10 6,50 25 13,1 35 10,14
3.Majors            
Forest Product Processing 12 7,79 8 4,19 20 5,8
Accounting 63 40,91 28 14,66 91 26,38
Environmental science 3 1,95 30 15,71 33 9,57
Landscape architecture 15 7,85 15 4,35
Silviculture 10 6,49 24 12,57 34 9,86
Management of forest resources 16 10.39 31 16,23 47 13,62
Business Administration 2 1,30 27 14,14 29 8,41
Land Management 16 10,39 13 6,81 29 8,41
Other sectors 32 20,78 15 7,85 47 13,62
4. Academic ability of the most recent semester            
Very good, excellent 14 9,09 20 10,47 34 9,86
Good 86 55,84 88 46,07 174 50,43
Average 53 34,42 76 39,79 129 37,39
Under average 1 0,65 7 3,66 8 2,32
The total observed sample 154 100 191 100 345 100

Source: Data from survey in 2015

3.2. Student satisfaction with the education quality of VFU

Using questionnaires to interview student satisfaction in the study area. The aggregate results of this assessment are presented in Table 04 as follows:

Table 04. The students satisfaction according to the training facilities of VFU

Criteria The rate of reviews assessing student’s satisfaction (%) Average Level of satisfaction
1 2 3 4 5
Institution in Hanoi 2,60 3,20 40,30 45,50 8,40 3,54 Satisfied
Institution in Dong Nai 1,00 6,30 50,80 34,60 7,30 3,41
Overall satisfaction 1,70 4,90 46,10 39,40 7,80 3,47

Source: Data from survey in 2015

Table 04 shows that 7.80% of interviewed students for assessment are very satisfied with education quality of VFU, 39.40% of assessment are satisfied, 46.10% are in average, 4.90% are dissatisfied, and only 1.70% of assessment is very dissatisfied. GPA on student’s satisfaction is 3.47 / 5 points.

On the other hand, in the Institution No. 2 in Dong Nai, 50.80% of the interviewed students assessed that education quality is in average, 41.9% of assessment are satisfied or very satisfied, while these figures at Hanoi, Institution No. 1 are 40.30% and 53.9% in turn.

In short, students are quite satisfied with education quality of VFU curently. The proportion of interviewed students at Institution No.1 in Hanoi who are satisfied and very satisfied higher than those in Dong Nai Institution. However, the difference of two satisfaction levels were evaluated by students at the two education institutions is negligible.

3.3. Factors affecting to student’s satisfaction with education quality at VFU

Using linear regression models to identify important factors affecting to student’s satisfaction with education quality at VFU. Next, using standardized coefficient in the regression model to determine the contribution rate of each factor for student’s satisfaction with education quality of VFU. The detailed results of the regression model analysis and calculation results from the importance of each factor in the model shown in Table 05 and 06 in return as follows:

Table 05. Results of regression models

Independent variables/elements Regression coefficient (β) Verification value t Level of significance (Sig.) Magnification factor (VIF)
Constant -8,183E-17 0,000 1,000  
X1 0,386 9,869 0,000 1,000
X2 0,216 5,512 0,000 1,000
X3 0,315 8,047 0,000 1,000
X4 0,223 5,699 0,000 1,000
X5 0,224 5,725 0,000 1,000
X6 0,297 7,603 0,000 1,000
Verification Value F 52,598 (Sig.=0,0000)
Coefficient R2 0,483
Coefficient R2 for adjustment 0,474
Durbin-Watson 1,957

Source: Data from survey in 2015

Table 05 shows that the P-value of model and all variables in the model are 0.000 <0.001. These results indicate regression models and variables from X1 to X6 with statistically significant at the 99% confidence level. R2 Adjustment with 0.474  shows that 47.4% of changes  with student’s satisfaction explained by the model’s independent variables. Based on the regression coefficients which are not standardized, Table 05 shows that:

Variable X1 with the coefficient 0.386, the same way of relation with variable SAT. It means that when students evaluate lecturers factor increasing by 1 point, their satisfaction will increase by 0.386.

Variable X2 with the coefficient 0,216, the same way of relation with variable SAT. It means that when students evaluate infrastructure factor increasing by 1 point, their satisfaction will increase by 0,216.

Variable X3 with the coefficient 0,315, the same way of relation with variable SAT. It means that when students evaluate study environment factor increasing by 1 point, their satisfaction will increase by 0,315.

Variable X4 with the coefficient 0,223, the same way of relation with variable SAT. It means that when students evaluate factors of culture and sports increasing by 1 point, their satisfaction will increase by 0,223.

Variable X5 with the coefficient 0,224, the same way of relation with variable SAT. In other words, when students evaluate education program factor increasing by 1 point, their satisfaction will increase by 0,224.

Variable X6 with the coefficient 0,297, the same way of relation with variable SAT. In other words, when students evaluate ability to meet the student services increasing by 1 point, their satisfaction will increase by 0,297.

Table 06. The important placement of factors in the regression model

Independent variables / Elements Absolute value %
X1 0,39 26,81
X2 0,22 15,00
X3 0,32 21,88
X4 0,22 15,49
X6 0,30 20,63
Total 1,45 100

Source: Data from survey in 2015

Standardized regression coefficient indicate the influence of independent variables converted into percentage (Ding, 2011). The results in Table 06 shows that variable X1 is the largest contributors (26.81%), continuing X3 (21.88%), X6 (20.63%), X4 (15.49%) and X2 (15.00%) respectively. In Table 06, variable X5 is eliminated due to the significant result of constant residual variance of this variable (Sig.) <0.05.

In summary, the group of factors affecting student satisfaction in order of importance can be confirmed by verification such as: Lecturer, study environment, ability to meet student services, culture and sports, infrastructure and education program.

  1. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Through the empirical research at Institution No.1 in Hanoi and Institution No.2 in Dong Nai, the results gave student’s satisfaction with education quality of VFU is quite high, demonstrated by the level of evaluation is 3:47/5. The highest proportion of interviewed students evaluating education quality is at average (46.10%). The proportion of interviewed students evaluating satisfied and very pleased at Institution No.1 in Hanoi are higher, but not much, comparing to Institution No.2 in Dong Nai. Student’s satisfaction depends on 6 groups of factors in order of decreasing importance as: Lecturers, study environment, ability to meet student services, culture and sports, infrastructure and education program.

Based on the findings of research in practical conditions of schools currently, authors proposed a number of measures in order of priority to improve education quality of VFU in the near future as follows:

Firstly, focusing on lecturers developemnt as required improving both quantity and quality. Standardized lecturers in undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Urgently build “special policy” relating to “attract, recruit, support, retrain, train and use” human resources of school. Notifying to build for resources of adjacent layers, in the long term not to make deficit of high qualified resources.

Secondly, focusing on developing study environment becoming green, clean and friendly. Continuing to improve the quality of environmental sanitation, landscape architectural aesthetics and maintain absolutely security of school.

Third, focusing on the services development to meet the increasing needs of students. Diversifying the types of services for students, particularly in the administration, life, library, employment. Regularly organize surveys assessing about student’s satisfaction for them, giving solutions to improve service quality. Besides, strengthening cooperation with other units and prestigious educational institutions domestic and to study the service model for students.

Fourthly, further promoting entertainment – fitnessin at school with the nuclear field is Office of  Student Affairs, the Youth Union and Student Association. Strengthening cultural exchanges, sports with agencies, educational institutions by expanding the scale and improving quality. Focusing on brand building for school through specialed cultural and sporty programs of VFU.

Fifthly, increasing the investment in infrastructure, teaching and learning equipments. Modernization of physical infrastructure of school, especially laboratory, practicing rooms, researching rooms, library system and data communication systems. Using budget funds efficiently, avoiding wasteful losses.

Sixthly, continuing to innovate education programs to meet conditions of social needs. It is necessary to make an annual survey to assess the overall education quality, especially the student’s employment after graduation and ability to meet the work requirements of graduates from VFU. Strengthening education cooperation with units and reputable educational institutions domestic and foreign. Accelerating implementation of advanced programs, affiliate programs with high quality,  teaching programs in English language.

REFERENCES

Bùi, T. N. Á., and T. H. V. Đào. 2013. Survey on student’s satisfaction about the quality of training in University of Economics and Business – Vietnam Nanational University, Hanoi.

CFI. 2007. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Technology: A Methodological Primer.

Đinh, P. H. 2011. Quantitative research methods and practical researches in agricultural development economics. Phuong Dong Publishing House, Ho Chi Minh City.

Isaac, F. S., J. S. Angle, H. Bruce, E. H. John, G. S. Rutherford, D. S. Jeremy, S. Vernon, V. A. Neal, M. Lynne, T. T. P. Nguyễn, and P. Peggy. 2014. Observations on higher education in the sectors of agricultural science, construction engineering, computer science, electricity-electronics-telecommunications, environmental science, physics and transportation in Vietnamese universities. Report, 72 pages.

Kotler, P., and K. Keller. 2011. Marketing management 14th edition. Prentice Hall.

Ma, C. T. L. 2011. Factors affecting student’s satisfaction with facilities and equipment at Dalat University.

MARD. 2006. Development strategies of Vietnam National University of Forestry, phase 2006-2020. Vietnam National University of Forestry.

MARD. 2013. Adjusting and supplementing development strategies of Vietnam National University of Forestry in the phase 2006-2020.in Vietnam National University of Forestry, editor.

Nguyễn, T. B. C., and T. B. C. Thái. 2013. Student’s satisfaction level evaluation with training quality of Faculty of Economics and Faculty of Business Administration at Can Tho Universtiy in the phase 2012-2013. Science Journal of Can Tho Universtiy 28:117-123.

Siskos, Y., N. Bouranta, and N. Tsotsolas. 2005. Measuring service quality for students in higher education: the case of a business university. Foundations of Computing and Decision Sciences 30:163-180.

Trần, V. H., and H. M. Trịnh. 2014. Report on synthesizing feedback from alumni and recruitment agencies on training work of Vietnam National University of Forestry . Report, 26 pages.

Trần, X. K. 2009. Student’s satisfaction evaluation for trianing quality at University of Economics and Business Administration – Thai Nguyen University. Master thesis, Institute for Education Quality Assurance, Vietnam National University.

 APPENDIX TABLE

Appendix 01. Analysis of factors exploring EFA of satisfaction level components

Observed variable Factor (component)
1 2 3 4 5 6
LEC1 0,574          
LEC2 0,646          
LEC3 0,570          
LEC4 0,773          
LEC5 0,717          
LEC6 0,673          
INF1   0,630        
INF2   0,654        
INF3   0,813        
INF4   0,728        
INF5   0,588        
ENV1     0,785      
ENV2     0,730      
ENV3     0,688      
ENV4     0,707      
CS1       0,834    
CS2       0,850    
CS3       0,737    
CIR1         0,720  
CIR2         0,716  
CIR3         0,733  
SER1           0,784
SER2           0,835

Appendix 02. Analysis results of factors exploring components

Factor Decription Variable Eigen value Extracted Variance Cronbach’s Alpha
1 Lecturer 6 7,433 32,318 0,816
2 Infrastructures 5 2,517 10,943 0,806
3 Study environment 4 1,619 7,041 0,838
4 Culture and sports 3 1,129 4,908 0,896
5 Education program 3 1,074 4,670 0,661
6 Ability to meet student services 2 1,019 4,429 0,683
Total                                                                                      64,310

 

 

 

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