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Journal of Social Economics Research

June 2016, Volume 3, 2, pp 21-30

A Factor Analysis Approach Towards a Study of the Factors Affecting Students’ Choice of Higher Education Institution: A Case Study of a Private Institution (Twintech International University College of Technology)

Khamsiah Ishak

Khamsiah Ishak 1

  1. International Islamic University Malaysia 1

on Google Scholar
on PubMed

Pages: 21-30

DOI: 10.18488/journal.35/2016.3.2/

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Article History:

Received: 18 December, 2016
Revised: 18 August, 2016
Accepted: 20 October, 2016
Published: 19 November, 2016


This study was conducted to discover the input that will help in the strategic management of the educational institution. The input is focused on information of the factors affecting students’ choice of a higher educational institution. For private educational institutions, the input also aids them in strategic marketing to gain competitive advantage. Specifically the study was done to discover the most important underlying factor that affects students' choice of an educational institution and also to show what aspects of the institutional factor are considered by students when they make their choices of educational institutions. This research followed a quantitative research design, where a survey, using a questionnaire, was used to gather the data on the factors that affect students’ choice criteria. By employing the pertinent research methodology, which is the Factor Analysis, more specifically the principal component analysis (P.C.A.) the researcher was able to reduce all the 51 items of students' responses to six (6) significant factors. The overall findings revealed that students chose more institutional factors than other factors. Based on this finding, a one factor solution was discovered to the study of students' choice, which is the factor of the "institution" with the highest factor loadings. No other studies had covered comprehensively all the items from the literature review (social, economic, physical, institutional and environmental, academic, marketing and administrative items) regarding students’ choice of tertiary education.
Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes to the existing literature on students’ choice criteria of higher educational institutions. While most studies employ descriptive statistics using frequency and mean analysis, this study uses the factor analysis approach (Principle Component Analysis) of statistical methods which is a reduction scheme of many independent variables into groups through their loadings.


Student’s choice, Higher education, Institutional factor, Factor analysis, Principle component analysis, Competitive advantage, Positioning, Brand, Strategic marketing.


  1. Ackerman, R., 2008. A business marketing strategy applied to student retention: A higher education initiative. Journal of College Student Retention: Research Theory and Practice, 9(3): 307-336.
  2. Bonema, 2008. Information and source preferences of a student market in higher education. International Journal of Educational Management, 22(4): 314-327.
  3. Faridah, H.H. and M.S. Nooraini, 2006. Students’ need recognition for higher education at private colleges in Malaysia: An exploratory perspective, University Teknologi Mara.
  4. Gildersleeve, R.E., 2010. Access between and beyond borders. Journal of College Admission, 206: 3-10.
  5. Grodsky, E. and C. Riegle-Crumb, 2010. Those who choose and those who don't: Social background and college orientation. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Thousand Oaks, 627: 14-35.
  6. Hossler, 2004. Fifty years of college choice: Social, political and institutional influences on the decision-making process. Lumina Foundation for Education New Agenda Series, 5(3): 3-48.
  7. Maringe, F., 2003. University and course choice: Implications for positioning. Recruitment and Marketing.
  8. Morris, M. and S. Rutt, 2009. Department for innovation, universities & skills (DIUS) Report 2008-2009.
  9. Patton, M., 2005. Advancing technological education; keeping America competitive. American Association of Community Colleges.
  10. Payne, B.R., 2010. A study of the relationship between parental involvement and mental health of college students. Unpublished Dissertation Auburn University: 172.


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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The author declares that there are no conflicts of interests regarding the publication of this paper.


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