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Attrition and Retention in Higher Education Institution: A Conjoint Analysis of Consumer Behavior in Higher Education

DANILO E. AZARCON, JR.1a , Cecilio D. Gallardo2b, Carljohnson G. Anacin1c , Edna Velasco2d

Journal Title:Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Arts and Sciences
Abstract


Private higher education institutions (HEIs) have the unique characteristic of being an institution of higher learning and a business entity at the same time. As a business entity, enrollment is the lifeblood of all HEIs that supports all of its other functions. True of any business, attracting customer and retaining them are the most important aspects that determine its profitability. In the case of HEIs, this means convincing prospective students to enroll and upon entering the institution, retain them until graduation. For this reason, it is important to know what drives studentís decision to stay or leave the institution. By understanding the different factors affecting studentsí attrition and retention decision, the university will be able to effectively make strategic adjustments leading to high retention rate among its clientele: the students. Using the marketing research method called Conjoint Analysis, a tool for identifying underlying preference of consumer and the trade-offs they make, the research determined the studentsí decision making process related to retention and attrition. The research found that quality of education is the most important factor determining retention and attrition among students. Nevertheless, quality of faculty and increase in total fees significantly impacts studentsí decision to stay or leave a university as well. Communicating and emphasizing the HEIís excellent quality education at every level is the most important strategy that the institution can adopted.

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