Are students customers? Tourism and hospitality students’ evaluation of their higher education experience

Jing (Bill) Xu, Ada Lo, Joey Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Research has suggested that higher education students assume multiple roles during their studies. Moreover, the student-as-customer model has been discussed for years and needs more in-depth discussions than other roles. Few studies have investigated education experiences from this perspective. This research contains two studies. Study one investigates faculty members’ perceptions on students’ roles in higher education and found students should not be considered purely as customers. Other roles were found. Study two investigates students’ perception of their roles in university education and how the education experiences influence their satisfaction towards university choice. A majority of the students see themselves as the “recipient of knowledge”. The six dimensions of higher education experience include “student-centred service” (SCS), “diversity and global citizenship” (DGC), “coproduction of learning experience”, “reliance on teachers” (ROT), “responsibility”, and “whole person development” (WPL). SCS, DGC, ROT, and WPL were found to have significant impact on student satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-258
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Teaching in Travel and Tourism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


  • higher education
  • Hong Kong
  • roles
  • Students
  • tourism and hospitality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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