Service Quality of the Higher Vocational Education

  • Ana Jovičić Vuković Novi Sad School of Business, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Jelena Damnjanović Novi Sad School of Business, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Nataša Papić-Blagojević Novi Sad School of Business, Novi Sad, Serbia


Research Question: The paper will investigate the service quality of the higher education provided by the higher schools of vocational studies using SERVQUAL methodology. Motivation:  The paper will show the characteristics of higher education of vocational studies, and it will point out the significance of creating and maintaining a quality management system in higher education institutions. The new reform of higher education in Serbia and establishment of academies of vocational studies are the main reasons why the question of service quality becomes one of the most important issues for higher education institutions and basis for competitive advantage, better image and reputation. Also, a growing competition on the higher education market and a smaller number of prospective students are also problems which higher vocational schools are faced with. Idea: The goal of this research is to find the differences between expected and perceived service quality. Furthermore, the paper will show if there are differences between perceived service quality among the students of different study years, as well as differences between the students with State scholarship and the self-funded students. Data: The research included 244 students of the first, second, and third years of bachelor studies from higher schools of vocational studies in Novi Sad, significant and the second-largest educational centre in the Republic of Serbia. Tools: Statistical methods used in this paper are frequency analysis, descriptive statistics, while the hypotheses are tested using the paired sample t-test, the independent t-test, and the one-factor variance analysis – ANOVA. Findings: The results of the research show that service quality of higher vocational education does not meet students' expectations (sig.<0,001)  and that the gap is negative for all dimensions of service quality (Tangibles (-.32), Reliability (-.52), Responsiveness (-.49), Assurance (-.33), and Empathy(-.26)). It is also shown by this research that there are no differences in higher education service quality based on the status of students (sig.>0.05) and the year of studying (sig.>0.05). Contribution: The results can be used as basis for introducing further measures to improve the quality of service provided by higher vocational institutions.

Author Biographies

Ana Jovičić Vuković, Novi Sad School of Business, Novi Sad, Serbia

Ana Jovičić Vuković, PhD, is a lecturer at the Novi Sad School of Business. She completed her PhD studies in Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences. She acquired a bachelor‘s and a master‘s degree at two different faculties in the fields of Tourism and Hotel Management and Business Economics. She worked as a research associate in international, national and provincial projects. She published more than 60 scientific papers in international journals and conferences in the field of tourism and hotel management.


Jelena Damnjanović, Novi Sad School of Business, Novi Sad, Serbia

Jelena Damnjanovic, PhD, completed her graduate studies in international economics (MA and PhD) in Belgrade. Currently, she is the director of the Novi Sad School of Business (Novi Sad, Serbia) and the professor of international business at the same School. Her major academic interests are in international economics, European Union and its enlargement, transnational corporations, foreign direct investments, globalisation, international trade and competition. Jelena is the author and co-author of four textbooks, more than 40 academic papers (including contribution to the Palgrave Encyclopaedia) and a participant in international and government projects.

Nataša Papić-Blagojević, Novi Sad School of Business, Novi Sad, Serbia

Nataša Papić Blagojević, PhD, is a professor of applied business studies and Deputy Director for projects at the Novi Sad School of Business, the Republic of Serbia. Her fields of occupational interest are Economic Statistics and application of statistical methods in economic research. As a professor, she teaches several subjects, such as Quantitative Methods in Business, Financial and Actuarial Mathematics and Business Statistics. She completed her PhD studies at the University of Niš, Faculty of Economics, in June 2015.

How to Cite
Jovičić Vuković, A., Damnjanović, J., & Papić-Blagojević, N. (2022). Service Quality of the Higher Vocational Education. Management:Journal Of Sustainable Business And Management Solutions In Emerging Economies, 27(1), 21-30. doi:10.7595/management.fon.2020.0025