The Gap between Students’ Expectations and Educational Services Provided for them, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, 2007


Fariba Arbouni 1 , * , Alireza Shoghli 1 , Saheb Badriposhteh 1 , Mansour Mohajery 1

1 Iran

How to Cite: Arbouni F , Shoghli A , Badriposhteh S , Mohajery M . The Gap between Students’ Expectations and Educational Services Provided for them, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, 2007, Strides Dev Med Educ. 2009 ; 5(1):e58562.


Strides in Development of Medical Education: 5 (1); e58562
Published Online: July 25, 2008
Article Type: Research Article
Received: July 23, 2017
Accepted: January 16, 2008




Background & Objective: One of the main problems which must be considered by the
universities of medical sciences, nationwide, is to establish a solidarity system for providing
desirable services and use of strategic methods in order to increase quality of services.
Determining gap in quality of services can facilitate backgrounds for preparing programs for
improvement of educational quality of services. This study was performed to determine the gap
between college students’ expectations and provided educational services in Zanjan University of
Medical Sciences, 2007.
Methods: In this descriptive study, 362 students in medical sciences participated. Data was
collected using a questionnaire based on SERVQUAL. By filling in the questionnaires, students
defined realities and their expectations in five aspects of quality of services including physical,
trust, reliability, responsiveness, and sympathy. The gap in services was calculated by subtracting
students’ scores in realities from their expectations.
Results: Results showed that there were gaps in all five aspects of quality of services. The highest
gap mean was in sympathy aspect (-1.67) and then in aspects of responsiveness (-1.62), reliability
(-1.54) and physical aspect (-1.52). The least gap mean was in trust aspect (-1.46). There was a
significant difference between realities and expectations in all aspects (P=0.0001). Students of
higher levels mentioned higher gaps in a significant way (P<0.01).
Conclusion: Generally, the gap between expectations and realities was seen in all aspects which is
due to not meeting students’ expectations of provided services. To improve quality of services, it
is recommended that together with planning educational workshops about service providing and
increasing staff’s communicative skills, authorities put those aspects with the highest gap in
priority while allocating budget.


Gap Quality of services Expectations Educational services Realities Students

© 2009, Medical Education Development Center. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.


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