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  • Author: Janja Jerebic x
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Revising the Importance of Factors Pertaining to Student Satisfaction in Higher Education

Abstract

Background and purpose: Competition among higher education institutions is intensifying and such institutions are increasingly directing efforts towards improving their ranking. In this context, both high-quality programmes and student satisfaction have become major goals of universities. In our study, we tried to identify the importance of various factors influencing student satisfaction in higher education institutions.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A paper-and-pencil survey was carried out in the 2017/18 academic year at the University of Maribor in Slovenia. Students were verbally informed of the nature of the research and invited to freely participate. They were assured of anonymity. Mean values and standard deviations of the responses were calculated. Friedman test was conducted to assess which satisfaction factors were a priority for the students. Independent samples t-test was used to examine whether a significant difference exists between specific groups. The correlations between satisfaction factors and selected study variables (age, average grade and readiness to spread information) were tested using Pearson correlation coefficients.

Results: The study results revealed that the most important factors influencing student satisfaction were teaching staff, followed by administrative support, programme issues, physical environment, location of the institution, social life and support facilities. Significant differences between the genders were found for two satisfaction criteria, i.e. programme issues and administrative support, both being more important to women than men. We also found that the higher the level of the class, the lower was the importance of the satisfaction factors.

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that higher education institutions need to focus efforts on improving the quality of teaching aspects so as to respond to the needs of their students, but also that they should not neglect non-teaching factors, especially regarding the physical environment. With improving these factors institutions can raise students’ satisfaction, gain on the reputation and impact future enrolment.

Open access
Reasons for Plagiarism in Higher Education

Abstract

Background and Purpose: The survey was performed to determine the reasons that lead students to possibly commit plagiarism during their studies. By doing so, we wanted to determine the main reason for the appearance of plagiarism and how, within this main reasons, various indicators of plagiarism are judged and, finally, how demographic data and student motivation for study are associated with the reasons for plagiarism.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A paper-and-pencil survey was carried out among 17 faculties of the University of Maribor in Slovenia. A sample of 139 students 85 males and 54 females participated in this study, ages ranged from 19 to 36 years. The questionnaire contained 95 closed questions referring to: (i) general data, (ii) education, (iii) social status, (iv) awareness of plagiarism, and (v) reasons for plagiarism. Parametric and nonparametric statistical tests were performed depending on distributions of the answers.

Results: The results reveal that information and communication technology is largely responsible for the plagiarism with two reasons highlighted: ease of copying and ease of access to materials and new technologies. We also found some differences between low and high motivated students. Different average values of the answers considering motivation for study were confirmed for academic skills, teaching factors and other reasons for plagiarism, where the average for lower motivated students is significantly different (higher) than the average for higher motivated students. At the end we could find no direct relationship between the average time spent on the Internet and plagiarism.

Conclusion: The transmission of knowledge is the basic mission of faculties. This mission is based on moral beliefs about the harmfulness of its abuse, and plagiarism is exactly such abuse. Regardless of the students past at this point professors are those who could greatly contribute to the right set of skills to keep students off plagiarising.

Open access
Long-term survival in glioblastoma: methyl guanine methyl transferase (MGMT) promoter methylation as independent favourable prognostic factor

Abstract

Background

In spite of significant improvement after multi-modality treatment, prognosis of most patients with glioblastoma remains poor. Standard clinical prognostic factors (age, gender, extent of surgery and performance status) do not clearly predict long-term survival. The aim of this case-control study was to evaluate immuno-histochemical and genetic characteristics of the tumour as additional prognostic factors in glioblastoma.

Patients and methods

Long-term survivor group were 40 patients with glioblastoma with survival longer than 30 months. Control group were 40 patients with shorter survival and matched to the long-term survivor group according to the clinical prognostic factors. All patients underwent multimodality treatment with surgery, postoperative conformal radiotherapy and temozolomide during and after radiotherapy. Biopsy samples were tested for the methylation of MGMT promoter (with methylation specific polymerase chain reaction), IDH1 (with immunohistochemistry), IDH2, CDKN2A and CDKN2B (with multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification), and 1p and 19q mutations (with fluorescent in situ hybridization).

Results

Methylation of MGMT promoter was found in 95% and in 36% in the long-term survivor and control groups, respectively (p < 0.001). IDH1 R132H mutated patients had a non-significant lower risk of dying from glioblastoma (p = 0.437), in comparison to patients without this mutation. Other mutations were rare, with no significant difference between the two groups.

Conclusions

Molecular and genetic testing offers additional prognostic and predictive information for patients with glioblastoma. The most important finding of our analysis is that in the absence of MGMT promoter methylation, longterm survival is very rare. For patients without this mutation, alternative treatments should be explored.

Open access