Factors influencing international students’ perceived value and satisfaction at private universities in Malaysia

Keywords: international education, international students, student satisfaction, perceived value, post behavioural intention, private universities


It is critical to investigate the major factors that influence the perceived value and satisfaction of international students in Malaysia, as the country has seen a decrease in international students since 2017 and strives to become an international education hub. This research aims to: (1) ascertain the level of satisfaction experienced by international students attending private universities (PrUs) in the Klang Valley; (2) identify factors and present a model that measures their influence on the perceived value and satisfaction of international students; and (3) propose policy recommendations to key stakeholders. An empirical study was conducted using a quantitative research methodology via physical survey using structured questionnaires. A total of 502 surveys from international students were collected from twelve private universities in the Klang Valley. The partial least squares structural equation modelling technique was employed to assess the measurement and structural model in validating the study model. Based on the empirical findings, the external environment, image, academic and non-academic constructs positively influence perceived value, which affects satisfaction. Results also confirm that the post-behavioural intentions of satisfied international students are word-of-mouth recommendations and loyalty. The results provided new perspectives on attracting and retaining international students to study in Malaysia. Theoretical, policy and practical implications are discussed.

Received: 31 October 2023
Accepted: 6 February 2024


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Author Biographies

Pui Yee Chong, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia

Senior lecturer at the College of Continuing Education, Universiti Tenaga Nasional/ National Energy University (Uniten). She obtained a Ph.D. and B.Soc.Sc. from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) (National University of Malaysia) and a M.Sc. in Information Technology from Universiti Putra Malaysia. She has taught communication and creative thinking courses since 2007. Her research interest covers the internationalization of higher education and education marketing. The specific area of investigation includes international student and staff mobility, access, and quality of higher education in Malaysia. She is the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Awards in 2020, Uniten, and Silver Medal for developing the Creative Thinking course on Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at the International e-Content Development (eCONDEV 2021) Competition. She engaged in consultancy work for the World Bank and the Ministry of Higher Education for the KPT-CAP project in 2021. Prior to joining the academic, she worked in the industry for ten years, assuming different functions, including corporate communication, group marketing services, procurement, and human resources.

Andrew Jia Yi Kam, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia

Associate Professor in Economics and Senior Fellow at Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). He is also Head of Latin American Studies at IKMAS. He has a PhD in economics from Australian National University (ANU). He researches and publishes mainly in international trade, industrialization and economic growth. He was a recipient of the Chevening Scholarship in 2005, the Australian Endeavour Postgraduate Fellowship in 2008 and the Malaysian Fulbright Scholarship in 2016.

Siew Yean Tham, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore

Visiting Senior Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore, and Emeritus Professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). She was formerly Professor and Director at Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), UKM. Her research interests and publications cover trade in goods and services, including SMEs in e-commerce, foreign direct investment (FDI), and Belt and Road initiatives as well as related ASEAN issues in these areas. As part of her research in services, she also covers trade in higher education services, which covers the mobility of students, academic staff, and FDI in this sector. Her research also covers issues pertaining to access and quality of higher education in Malaysia. She has a PhD in Economics from University of Rochester, USA.


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How to Cite
Chong, Pui Yee, Andrew Jia Yi Kam, and Siew Yean Tham. 2024. “Factors Influencing International students’ Perceived Value and Satisfaction at Private Universities in Malaysia”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 11 (2), 255-334. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe.2592.