Public University Students' Expectations: An Empirical Study Based on the Stakeholders Theory

Emerson Wagner MAINARDES, Mario RAPOSO, Helena ALVES


In accordance with the importance that the student stakeholder represents to universities, the objective of this research project was to identify and classify the leading expectations of students at public universities. In order to achieve this, the study adopted both the premises of Stakeholder Theory and the approaches of earlier studies on the management of university stakeholders. This empirical study began with an exploratory study of students, at one university, to identify their expectations this resulting in a list of a total of twenty-five confirmed expectations. This provided the basis for the subsequent quantitative study involving students attending eleven Portuguese public universities. Through recourse to an online questionnaire, we obtained 1,669 correctly completed surveys that provided the input for data analysis deploying descriptive statistical processes and multiple linear regressions. Our findings show that the most important student expectations are the academic level of demand, the university’s connections with the employment market, student personal self-fulfillment and the prevailing university environment. According to students, these expectations should gain priority attention by university managers, once they consider them the most relevant aspects to the relationship between the student and the university.


stakeholders; stakeholder management; university management; expectations; students.

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