Higher education environments have become increasingly competitive and institutions have to compete for students in the recruitment markets. Institutional image is considered a cornerstone which influences the students’ choice for an academic institution. The purpose of this study aimed at developing a valid and reliable instrument for institutional image to aid in marketing efforts performed at the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Students of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Sharjah were approached in the study. Two hundred and twenty two (222) students voluntarily participated in the study which involved a survey questionnaire based on a five point Likert scale for 18 items included on the questionnaire related to academic institutional image. Principal component analysis using varimax rotation was used for questionnaire validation and categorization of resulting factors. Reliability tests were performed to assess the reliability of the items included in the questionnaire. Tests included test-retest reliability, Cronbach alpha, and split-half reliability coefficients. The image instrument includes the general items stated in the literature as well as items relevant to the University of Sharjah indicating the distinctiveness of the image to be used for marketing activities on behalf of the university.
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The research would like to extend their appreciation to the University of Sharjah for supporting this research study which was funded through the seed grant program adopted by the university for faculty members.
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