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The primary purpose of this paper was to develop an industry-specific service quality framework for private higher education institutions in an open distance e-learning environment in South Africa. Service quality for higher education operations is a key performance objective due to the increasingly competitive, marketing-oriented and highly regulated environment. Using a quantitative research approach, this research was conducted at two private higher education institutes. Data analysis included an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) approach followed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Finally, a service quality framework was compiled consisting of four primary constructs. The paper makes a pioneering contribution and bridges a significant gap with the development of the first Open Distance and e-Learning service quality framework for private higher education institutions in South Africa.
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