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Human Resource Tools to Impact Service Quality Perception


Nowadays academic environment is considered to be competitive enough, providing the students with a free choice under the influence of factors, developed by institutions in order to increase their perception of service quality. It should be noted that higher education institutions striving to gain competitive edge, work out creative and effective ways through various Human Resource (HR) tools, in order to establish stronger relationships with their students.

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HR tools in the system of UK education play an important role, being used as the principal method of establishing rapport to students and increasing their perception of innovative service; the paper will highlight theoretical and empirical study of this aspect, allowing identifying the basic elements and strategies developed in UK universities.

HR Tools in UK Universities

The level of the service quality, being defined as students’ assessment of learning environment, is considered to play a decisive role in the sphere of human management planning. Students’ opinions as to the academic life aspects are disclosed in the form of various questionnaires; it should be noted that such factors as course organization, enrollment and teaching staff influence the formation of students’ service quality perception. The quality of teaching and learning are closely connected with each other and are on university agenda in current period.

In order to understand the types of Hr tools to be adopted for the students’ perception increase, it is necessary to observe the following steps:

  • Introduce measurements showing the success of HR service process;
  • Demonstrate value-added contribution to the strategic goals of service quality perception increase;
  • Develop HR tools to change the students’ perception of education environment.
HR Tools in UK Universities

The Figure demonstrated above is a kind of theoretical framework aimed at disclosure of student’s perception of service quality and satisfaction measurement based on three basic antecedents: perceived value, perceived quality and student’s expectations. Service quality is higher education is identified as the critical prerequisite for sustaining appropriate relationships with customers (students). It was stated that perceived service quality can be regarded as an antecedent to received satisfaction. (Fombrun, 1999)

The analysis of possible HR tools introduction in the system of UK education is to be concentrated on the following activities of human resource management: development process, appraisal process, selection/promotion process, and reward process.

The selection/promotion activity within university service is focused on the internal movement within the staff structure; the professional quality in the sphere of teaching and presenting the information should be performed on a high rate, to increase the quality perception by the students. This tool gives an opportunity to identify human needs and expectations within university structure as to particular positions assessment.

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Appraisal process is aimed at the strategic development of systematic examination and constant evaluation of learning atmosphere. Development process is considered to be the ensuring activities aimed at human resource talent supply. It means that the students studying at higher institutions are to be provided with appropriate human resource management and participate in various strategic changes, concerning a human resources methodologies planning. It is necessary to underline the fact that this tool enables to update the information as to the rate of service quality perception within the university.

Reward process is considered to be one of the most effective in business sphere as well as in the system of education. Some UK institutes stick to this method in order to stimulate students for active participation in the human resource management development. Reward programs are to be introduced within different levels of students’ groups providing them with positive perception of education quality and encouraging for better involvement into its system.

Aston University and University of Oxford: HR Tools Development

The increase of service quality perception is an open question at many UK universities, such as University of Oxford, Aston University and London South Bank University. All the higher institutions provide a high rate of education; regardless of this fact, their human resource centers are aimed at introduction of a number of tools for the purpose of raising the level of students’ perception of their service quality.

Aston University and University of Oxford centralize the development of Human Resource Strategy, striving to increase the quality of research and teaching, as well as develop the position as the universities of world-class enriching national, regional and international communities through the skills of the graduates.

It is necessary to underline the fact that the principle tools used by the UK universities are considered to be Developing and Rewarding processes. The developing HR strategy is focused on the broad perspective of strategic risk management and extensive consultation, as well as progress self assessment aimed at evaluation of Universities’ Strategic Plans results. It should be noted that the basic objectives of the HR management strategy stimulating the students’ perception increase, are the following:

  • Creative reward framework;
  • Evaluating and Monitoring Strategy;
  • Recruitment of high-caliber staff.

Diversity and equality principles maintaining by both Universities are identified in their combination through the strategy of reaching impact assessment covering all the spheres of practice and policy development. (University of Oxford, 2009)

The University of Oxford is predominantly concentrated on the HR tools supporting the idea of reaching high quality in teaching and research areas in order to raise the students’ vision of university service level, fulfilled through the focus on such aspects as retain, recruit and reward. It should be noted that this very step will help to stimulate morale, motivation and development of HR management; the key element of this program can be the following:

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  • Provide the support and facilities to pursue the innovative research;
  • The promotion of rigorous and challenging teaching benefiting from active interaction with the developed research environment;
  • To attract the students’ participation to the graduate, undergraduate and other education courses for the purpose of widening access through students’ applications;
  • Making use of independent colleges’ advantages, fostering the students’ personal and intellectual development within a stimulating academic community;

Besides, the Oxford University HR management is to be aimed at reduction of bureaucratic burdens; it means that its strategic plan should cover dealing with rebalancing and excessive workloads to ensure the entire involvement of the academics in their core activities. It is necessary to increase flexibility in the teaching duties assignment in order to provide appropriate preparation of graduate students for their academic practice; it is also important to create improved systems aimed at appraisal and staff development being consistent with institutional structures of Oxford University. (Rewarding and Developing People at Oxford, 2005)

Aston University strives to increase the students’ perception of service quality through thorough analysis of its quantitative trends, covering recruitment, statistics, and staffing. It should be noted that the principal concern of the University lies in the development of various monitoring arrangements aimed at the evaluation of HR initiative’s impact. The University’s HR tools are concentrated around its Personnel Committee following internal consultation with all the academic divisions and departmental managers in order to work out effective methods of impacting the students’ perception and motivation within academic environment. The basic elements of HR management of Aston University are the following:

The basic elements of HR management of Aston University

It is necessary to underline the fact that establishment of psychological contact with the students is considered to be one of the principal tasks of HR management development. Aston University HR sphere is concentrated on the adoption and practice of social and ethical processes in varied contexts; it covers methodologies aimed at impact and improvement of conducive to learning university service. (Aston University, 2009)

HR Tools Perspectives

The analysis of two UK Universities on the basis of their HR tools development gives an opportunity to understand the missing aspects in the human resources strategic planning. The appraisal process and selection activity are to be introduced in the UK universities’ HR structures. It is important to underline the fact, that assessment and evaluation of the learning and teaching environment are regarded the significant link between the students’ perception of the university service quality and personal satisfaction with academic environment.

These two HR tools will give an opportunity to understand the ethical and moral needs of the students as well as the university staff. The methods of evaluation and statistical analysis are considered to be an integral part of the empirical study in education and business spheres. These concepts contribute to the development of innovative research methods and strategies to be used in practice by UK Universities. (Fombrun, 1999)

Innovative analysis in the human resource field is to be concentrated on the interaction and sequence of students’ perception with the introduction of various questionnaires, evaluation methodologies and ethical programs. It is important to follow the changes in service quality perception, under the students’ influence caused by appraisal and selection processes.


HR tools in the system of education play an important role; it is the basic link between the students and the university’s staff, and the only way to mutual understanding and beneficial cooperation. UK universities develop a number of HR concepts in order to raise students’ perception of their service quality. Rewarding, Appraisal, Developmental and Selection processes appeared to be basic means adopted in the UK education system.

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The paper was focused on the research of the principle Human Resource Tools and their contribution to the Universities’ management; the theoretical and empirical study of the issue under analysis gave an opportunity to evaluate current practices in HR departments of UK higher institutions. The analysis of HR development on the basis of Oxford and Aston Universities demonstrated the fact, that the system of human resources is actively operated within the education sphere.


Aston University. Birmingham. 2009. Web.

Fombrun, N. Strategic Human Resource Management. John Wiley and Sons. 1999.

Rewarding and Developing People at Oxford: Human Resources Strategy. 2005. Web.

University of Oxford. 2009. Web.

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