Listening to and learning from graduate's perceptions: Implications for change?

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Abstract

The impact of Word of Mouth Communication (WoMC) in attracting new candidates, and thus contributing to the sustainability of Higher Education Institutions, is highlighted in the literature along with its importance as an indicator for quality improvements in course provision. In the present study graduates were questioned concerning their intention to recommend Master courses depending on satisfaction, and tracking any specific characteristics or attitudes which formulate positive or negative WoMC after graduation. A total of 162 Master graduates in Health Management, academic years of admission 2003-2007, completed satisfaction questionnaires which were developed by the authors. WoMC was recorded through the relevant questions in thesame questionnaire. Demographic, vocational, educational variables and a satisfaction score based on questionnaire, were tested, in order to measure the effect on strengthening WoMC, using simple and multiple logistic regression. Graduates, who showed high overall satisfaction level of the Master Program they had attended, adopted positive WoMC recommending it to interested parties (OR: 1.11, 95% CI: 1.05-1.17). In contrast, negative WoMC was adopted by those who were unemployed or who have been looking for work when surveyed, (OR: 0.12, 95% CI: 0.02-0.63). It is the first time that Health Management Master graduates of Greek public institutions have been surveyed concerning the effect of satisfaction along with individual characteristics (like sex, age, marital status, first obtained degree, employment status, work consistency with degree) on their intention to recommend the Master courses in question to others. The improvement of career prospects leading to positive WoMC can both attract new students enhancing sustainability of Master courses and also offer stakeholders among others a valuable indicator concerning improvements regarding educational quality.

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Kotsifos, V., Alegakis, A., & Philalithis, A. (2013). Listening to and learning from graduate’s perceptions: Implications for change? International Education Studies, 6(7), 189–199. https://doi.org/10.5539/ies.v6n7p189

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