Student Satisfaction as a Precursor to Institutional Commitment: A Reflection of Educational Quality through Graduate Exit Surveys
Graduate exit surveys in higher education institutions are a pivotal feedback mechanism with regard to the quality of educational services that are offered in an institution. Through graduate exit surveys, there is an assurance that the educational experiences proffered by the institution are able to meet the mission and vision of an academic programme on one hand and the societal requirements on the other. This study reflected on the quality of education and the satisfaction levels of exiting students of Laikipia University during the 7th graduation cycle. Anchored on the SERVIQUAL model, the disconfirmation paradigm and the expectancy value theories, the study sought to address three specific objectives; namely, to find out the views of the 2019 graduation cohort regarding the quality of education offered at Laikipia University; to examine the satisfaction levels of the 2019 graduation cohort with regard to support services i.e. library, ICT, hospitality and environment within and outside the University; and to find out the level of commitment of the 2019 cohort of graduates to the University. The findings were descriptively analyzed using the mean indices to measure impression on quality and student satisfaction. The study findings revealed that the cohort graduates of 2019 had a positive impression on the quality of education offered at the university with a mean rating of 3.19. They were also satisfied with support services; library facilities (mean = 2.94), ICT infrastructure (mean =2.78), hospitality services (mean = 3.05) and the general environment within and outside the university (mean =3.11). Based on the levels of satisfaction, the graduates expressed a commitment and willingness to recommend other prospective students to pursue courses at the University. In the spirit of continual improvement in quality, the study recommends among others that the University should continue to expand the existing capacity of laboratories and studios to accommodate more students as a way of increasing access to these facilities; continuously provide adequate and up-to-date study materials; sensitize students on the existing e-resources and allow internet access within the library for ease of referencing the e-resource; expand the ICT infrastructure by having more computer labs to increase accessibility; increase the internet bandwidth for stronger internet connectivity; and increase availability of recreational services.