The perceived value of higher education: The voice of Chinese students

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56 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes an exploratory study on the perceived value of higher education by Chinese students in Macao SAR, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Taipei. Using responses from 316 students, we find that the Sheth-Newman-Gross Theory of Consumption Values explains how students perceive the services offered by higher education institutions. Students have different opinions on the value items, which we group into two functional values (the usefulness of a degree and the experiential aspect), social value, emotional value, epistemic value, and conditional value using factor analysis. A stepwise multiple regression analysis shows that students' satisfaction depends, to a large extent, on two functional values-the experiential aspect and the usefulness of a degree. Moreover, when comparing value judgments based on gender as well as other demographic and social variables, the results show no significant differences between the mean scores in perceived values. Implications for delivering effective educational services in higher education conclude the paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-287
Number of pages17
JournalHigher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Chinese students
  • Higher education
  • Perceived value


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