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The impact of choice factors on international students’ loyalty mediated by satisfaction

  • Dina Maria AmaroEmail author
  • Alzira Maria Ascensão Marques
  • Helena Alves
Original Article

Abstract

The presence of international students is a valuable input for Higher Education Institutions (HEI) at all levels. Thus, it is critical to understand not only how students make their decisions and what factors and sources of information provided by the HEI most influence them, but also to evaluate students’ satisfaction and loyalty with the choice made, in order to define the most suitable and competitive marketing strategies to attract and retain international students. Based on the information gathered through a questionnaire with a sample of 190 international students studying at a Portuguese HEI, a quantitative, cross-sectional and causal study was conducted using the estimation of a structural equation model calculated through PLS, in order to investigate the impact of choice factors and information sources on international students’ loyalty, mediated by satisfaction with the choice made. The findings indicate that the choice factors with the greatest impact on satisfaction of the international students were: the perception of the country, the environment and location of the HEI, and the sources of information provided by the HEI. It was also concluded that a positive global perception of the HEI influences the recommendation from significant others, and increases the satisfaction and loyalty of all the international students. Thus, HEI managers should account for these factors when making strategic marketing decisions to increase the number of international students.

Keywords

Choice factors and information sources Satisfaction Loyalty International students PLS 

Notes

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politécnico de LeiriaLeiriaPortugal
  2. 2.ESTG, CARME, Politécnico de LeiriaLeiriaPortugal
  3. 3.Management and Business Department, NECEUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal

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