Understanding university image: a structural equation model approach

  • Paulo O. Duarte
  • Helena B. Alves
  • Mário B. Raposo
Original Article


Over the last years, institutional image management has become a critical element to the competitiveness of higher education institutions. The aims of this study are to review the organizational image construct; explore the process of image formation and analyze the impact of the different source factors on university’s image. A sample of 1024 university student was surveyed to test a conceptual model of university image formation trough structural equations. The results show that, nevertheless all factors being significant to image formation, the university social life atmosphere and employment opportunities are the most important predictors. As a result, this study is important for researchers and practitioners, as it presents a different approach to image measurement, it provides a new framework to assess university image formation and, at the same time, helps managers to understand that educational related factors aren’t the only ones where they should focus to successful differentiate their institutions and remain competitive.


Institutional image University image Image sources Higher education Marketing strategies 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulo O. Duarte
    • 1
  • Helena B. Alves
    • 1
  • Mário B. Raposo
    • 1
  1. 1.NECE—Research Unit in Business Sciences, Business and Economics DepartmentUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal

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