2018, Cilt 8, Sayı 1, Sayfa(lar) 051-061
Determining the Quality of Life of Students in Higher Education
Bulent Ecevit University, Ereğli Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Zonguldak, Turkey
Keywords: Quality of life, University students, Higher education, Turkish universities, Mixed method
Quality of life is affected by peoples cultures, situations, expectations, goals, standards, and value systems. This study aims to determine
the quality of life of students in terms of their relations with academicians, other students and administrative personnel, opportunities
offered by the university, and their satisfaction level with their university in three major Turkish universities in 2016-2017 academic school
year. A total of 417 participants including 131 males and 286 females were selected through a non-random selection. The study included a
mixed method approach. The survey model of descriptive method was used in the quantitative part of the study. The qualitative part of the
study included a semi-structured interview technique involving open ended questions. The quantitative data was analyzed according to
the research questions using one-way analysis of variances (ANOVA), Pearsons correlation, and stepwise regression analysis. In addition,
content analysis method was employed to analyze qualitative data. The findings showed that university students were uncertain about
factors affecting their quality of life.
American sociologists were interested in determining the living
conditions of their families and started examining this issue by
1918. They investigated this issue under the topics of living
conditions, socio-economic status, lifestyle, and social status.
Investigations on quality of life were first conducted by Chapin
(1933). He developed an instrument and tried to determine
the level of social welfare of the working class. The instrument
measured the living conditions related to a household. Similarly,
Sewell (1940) developed another instrument to conduct
research on quality of life of farmers. Later, McKain and Walter
(1939) and conducted similar research by adding more parameters
to previously conducted studies in their work.
Quality of life has recently been a subject of research among
multi-disciplinary areas including social sciences and health
sciences. In social sciences, quality of life has been investigated
in fields of education, politics, economics, and sociology.
All disciplines defined the concept of quality of life from
different perspectives. The sense of well-being or the degree
of satisfaction determine the level of quality of life of people
(Schuessler & Fisher, 1985). Such approaches made it difficult
to make a standard definition of quality of life. The World
Health Organization (WHO) defines quality of life as culture,
situation, expectations, goals, standards, and value systems of
individuals based on their perceptions on how they experience
their own living conditions (WHO, 2017). Bauer (1966) defined
quality of life as the level of feeling of satisfaction or dissatisfaction
in their various areas of lives. Andrews and Withey
(1976) argues that quality of life is the level of relationship
between satisfaction and pleasure associated with a persons
life. Campbell, Converse, and Rogers (1976) define quality of
life as a relationship between the quality of resources and the
individual satisfaction received from these sources. The main
aim in quality of life is to determine how satisfied an individual
is from his psychological, social, physical and economic situation
(Cılga, 1994; Farquhar, 1995).
Theoretically, the concept of quality of life was examined by
researchers in different ways. In the studies carried out, the
quality of life qualities are generally examined in two dimensions:
Objective indicators and subjective indicators. Objective
indicators include physical well-being and economic status.
Subjective indicators include satisfaction of life itself (Tekkanat,
2008). Lehmans (1983) research has led many studies of quality
of life. The participants of research included adults in nursing
home cares. The main goal of the study was to determine the
level of life satisfaction based on the adults living conditions
in nursing home, family relations, social relations, leisure time
activities, employment status, financial condition, personal
confidence, and health status.
When it comes to quality in education, it needs to be impeccable,
satisfying, innovative, and provide opportunities for
human development (Yıldırım, 2002). Quality in education may
be provided through effective education given in right time and
place by effective educators (Bulut, 2010). Having quality education
services is based on the principle of ensuring effective use of all available resources. The quality of the education system
may be increased by enriching human resources, physical
resources, student services, social and cultural environment,
education technology, and collaboration among students,
schools, and private sector (OConnor, 2000).
Quality of life is defined as students interest and happiness
towards school in general (Newcomb, Bentler, & Collins, 1986).
The root of the concept of quality of life in schools is generated
from quality of life, which includes a broader meaning (Land &
Spilerman, 1975). Education is one of the dimensions of overall
quality of life (Kubey, 1990). Quality of life in schools is well-being,
satisfaction, and experience of the students based on their
daily school life (Mok, & Flynn, 2002; Williams, et al., 1996).
Epstein and McPatland (1976) are one of those, who first
mentioned the concept of quality of life in schools. They conducted
their research in primary schools and high schools and
explained quality of life in schools based on the environmental
conditions of the students. Schools are not only responsible
for the academic development of students, but also responsible
for their school development (Linnakylä & Brunell, 1996).
Gander and Gardiner (2010) suggested that school experience
may contribute on both professional and social development.
Ainley (1999) conducted studies on the quality of life of schools
and found that the tasks of schools, along with the transfer
of information, include creating democratic and independent
individuals. The majority of the students time is spent in the
school environment. Therefore, schools are supposed to be
places where students enjoy spending time and learning new
things rather than thinking as a place where they are forced
to be at (Weinstein et al., 1997). Studies have shown that
school quality of life is related to the academic achievement
and the well-being of students (Mok, & Flynn, 2002). It has
been seen that students who have a quality school life can take
more responsibility for their own behaviors (Ferrans & Powers,
1985). In addition, research findings showed that quality of life
in schools is correlated with students academic achievement.
Studies investigating quality of life in schools examined the
topic from different aspects of quality of life. In their research
Epstein and McPartland (1976) found that quality of life in
schools was affected by formal and informal expectations,
social and task-related experiences, authority figures and
colleagues in the school. Williams et al. (1996) examined quality
of life in schools based on students positive and negative
emotions, status, identity, success, and type of teachers in
the school. In addition, Karatzias, Power, and Swanson (2001),
examined quality of school life in schools through its association
with school program, attendance, teaching methods,
instructional styles, learning, personal needs, evaluation,
school value, support systems, career, and relationships. Lastly,
Fish, and Dane (2000) conducted research on this topic based
on its relationship with school-wide innovations, communication,
and participating in decisions.
Some of the studies on quality of life of students were conducted
in universities. The different structure of universities
from other educational institutions necessitated a separate
consideration quality of life in such settings. University admin istrations have stated in their missions about the solutions of
the various problems of the students. The solutions are about
students academic, social, housing, nutrition and, transportation
problems (Sirgy, Grezeskowiak, & Rahtz, 2007). Most universities
try to increase quality of life in their settings through
their own resources and facilities. The universitys quality of
life includes the universitys degree of satisfaction and the
experience of students creating positive emotions throughout
their university life (Doğanay & Sarı, 2006). Educational
services, administrative services, and facilities are the most
important determinants of quality of life in universities (Kim
et al., 2008). Students need to have a meaningful relationship
with their universities in order to be successful meaning that
these students should not be alienated from their school (Clifton,
Mandzuk, & Roberts, 1994).
Argon and Kösterelioğlu (2009) conducted a study to determine
the relationship between the quality of life of the students
and the culture of the university. In terms of university
quality of life, participation in decisions had the highest mean
scores. In addition, the relationship between the quality of life
of the students and the culture of the university was highest on
interactions between lecturers and students. In their research,
Singh et al., (2010) found that students had positive feelings
towards the quality of life in their Mara Technology University.
Doğanay and Sarı (2006) examined the level of democratic life
in Çukurova University. Their findings showed that students
had the highest mean scores on social identity and social
facilities of the university. However, they had the lowest mean
scores on classroom environment and participation in decision
Milbrath and Doyno (1987) measured the level of satisfaction
of faculty members at SUNY- Buffalo University about campus
life. They found the level of satisfaction at satisfactory level.
In another study, Tekkanat (2008) investigated quality of life
of students at a universitys teacher education classrooms.
The findings suggested that there was a positive and significant
relationship between quality of life of students and their
physical activities on the campus. Kangal (2009) examined the
quality of life of students at Akdeniz University. The findings
showed that academic level of students and their satisfaction
about universitys social life were not meaningful indicators of
their quality of life. However, the findings also suggested that
facilities and services provided by the university were meaningful
indicators of their quality of life. Sirgy, Grezeskowiak,
and Rahtz (2007) conducted a study to measure the quality of
university life at three major university campuses in USA. They
found that students academic levels and their satisfaction in
universitys social life had meaningful effects on the quality of
university. In a study, Michalos and Orlando (2006) found that
among university-related domains, quality of life of university
students was affected the most by students satisfaction with
their instructors. Leelakulthanit and Day (1992) found that
economic well-being and human capital (education) are one of
the main important factors to peoples quality of life regardless
of the level of economic development of the country they live
in. The findings of a study conducted in an Iranian university showed that social environments had crucial effects on quality
of life students (Ghaedi et al., 2010). DAndrea, S. (1998) suggested
that what mainly affects quality of human life includes
perceptions, expectations, concerns, and areas of satisfaction.
Over the time, the concept of quality of life was used to
increase productivity in quality of life of students in educational
institutions as well. Because universities have different and
autonomous structures than other schools, the quality of life in
universities has emerged as a separate research topic. Universities
need to meet students expectations such as academic,
social, housing, nutrition, and transportation ones. Meeting
high-level expectations in these areas and serving high standards
has been one of the core tasks of the universities.
Mainly, researchers studied quality of life in a variety of organizational
contexts (Ryff & Keyes, 1995). After reviewing these
studies, it was found that only one percent of these studies
were conducted in educational organizations (Michalos, 2003).
Most of these studies were conducted at the elementary and
secondary school levels (Fraser, 1998), and little research was
conducted at the higher education level both in Turkey and
abroad. Those conducted in Turkey mainly focused on quality
of life of academicians or administrative staff at a single university.
However, this study focused on examining and comparing
quality of life of students in three major Turkish universities. As
the main reason for the existence of schools and universities
is the students, this study may play a pivotal role to make universities
better places for all students. From this point of view,
it is thought that this research will contribute to the studies
conducted on quality of life of students in Turkish universities.
Therefore, the main goal of this study was to determine quality
of life of students in three major Turkish universities. The study
includes the following research questions for both quantitative
and qualitative portions of the study:
1. What is the level of quality of life of students based on their
2. What kind of metaphors do university students use about
3. What do university students like the most about their university?
4. What do university students dislike the most about their
As a design of mixed method approach, a triangulation design
was employed for this research. In the design, quantitative
and qualitative data are collected simultaneously. The main
purpose of using triangulation design is to determine whether
the data support each other based on the findings of the study.
This method; focuses on collecting and analyzing both quantitative
and qualitative data. The main point of this method is
to provide a better understanding of research problems using
both quantitative and qualitative approaches together instead
of using a single approach (Creswell et al., 2007). The survey
model of descriptive method was used in the quantitative part of the study. In such approach, the researcher tries to determine
the current events in detail and give detailed information
about the situation (Karakaya, 2009). As the instrument, Quality
of University Life Scale (QULS) was used to collect data in
The qualitative part of the research constitutes a phenomenological
approach. According to this approach, the most
important factors shaping an individuals behavior include
his perceptions based on the situations related to him or the
environment itself. In this context, it is aimed to define and
explain the perceptions of the participants in the study. So, in
the qualitative part of the study, it was aimed to explain the
situation such as the level of quality of life among university
students. Therefore, a phenomenological approach including
semi-structured questions was adopted in order to enable
students explain their opinions and perceptions about the
phenomenon of quality of life (Creswell et al., 2007).
The participants of this study for both quantitative and qualitative
parts included students from three state universities in
Turkey. Although the researcher aimed to collect data from one
university in each region of Turkey, he was only able to collect
data from three universities, each in different region. These
universities were located in Central Anatolia (University A) with
156 (37.4%) participants, Marmara (University B) with 102
(24.5%) participants, and Western Black Sea (University C) with
159 (38.1%) participants. A total of 417 participants including
131 males (31.4%) and 286 females (68.6%) were selected
through non-random selection. The participants included 72
(17.3%) freshman, 98 (23.5%) sophomore, 90 (21.6%) juniors,
152 (36.5%) seniors, and five students (1.2%) from preparatory
Data Collection Tools
Quality of University Life Scale (QULS) including 35 items was
used in the quantitative part of the study. The five-point (Never-
1 to Always-5) Likert type scale instrument was developed
by Eriş ve Anıl (2013). The instrument included five sub scales:
Relations with academicians (RWA) with 11 items, inter-student
relations (ISR) with six items, relations with administration
(RWA) with six items, offered opportunities (OOP) with six
items, and satisfaction with university (SWU) with six items.
The researcher of this study pilot tested the instrument and
found that the coefficient of α was .90 for overall instrument.
In the qualitative part of the study, four open ended questions
were added at the end of the quantitative instrument to collect
both data simultaneously. The qualitative construct included
questions on university students uses of metaphors and on
what they like or dislike about their university. Accordingly, this
approach was employed to enable the qualitative data support
the quantitative data obtained. For the internal validity of the
instrument, a semi-structured form consisting of two questions
was presented to four field experts. After making changes and
adjustments based on the feedbacks provided by the experts,
the final form of the construct included three questions. Then, a pilot study was conducted with a student other than the
participants, and then the voice record of this interview was
transcribed into writing. Later, an area specialist reviewed the
interviews in terms of whether the questions were clear and
understandable, whether they covered the topic of the study
and provide the necessary information. After making necessary
controls over the form, no problems were found and the interview
form was finalized. In order to analyze the reliability of
the instrument, the answers provided by the researcher and an
expert in the field on the construct were compared. The comparison
was conducted according to the formula (reliability =
same opinions / (same opinions + different opinions) proposed
by Miles and Huberman (1994). As a result, the reliability of
the construct was calculated as 91%.
The analysis of the quantitative part of the study was made
in a pattern revealing the levels of students quality of life in
their universities. These levels were examined based on students
university, the relationship between sub dimensions of
quality of life, and how some of these dimensions were able
to explain students relations with universitys administration.
SPSS 20.00 was used for data analysis. Mean scores of each
subscale were determined based on the following calculations:
1.00-1.80 (never), 1.81-2.60 (rarely), 2.61-3.40 (sometimes),
3.41 to 4.20 (often), and 4.21 to 5.00 (always). The data was
analyzed according to the research questions using one-way
analysis of variances (ANOVA), Pearsons correlation, and stepwise
Qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis method.
The basic process in content analysis is to bring together similar
data within the framework of specific concepts and themes
and to interpret them in an understanding way (Yıldırım & Simsek,
2005). As soon as the qualitative construct was collected
from the participants, the answers on it were organized. After
identifying the meaningful data, they were encoded and then
draft themes were specified. According to the determined
draft themes, the codes were arranged. Then, the data was
re-arranged according to the draft themes and codes.
|Findings from Quantitative Part of the Study
Quality life of students in universities based on the type of
university was determined using ANOVA test (Table 1
data was analyzed according to dependent variables such as
relations with academicians, inter-student relations, relations
with administration, offered opportunities, and satisfaction
with university. The findings showed that there were significant
differences on relations with academicians (F = 54.11; p
= .00; p < .05), inter-student relations (F = 21.8; p = .00; p <
.05), and relations with administration (F = 12.1; p = .00; p <
.05) favoring University C. There were significant differences
on offered opportunities (F = 14.14; p = .00; p < .05) favoring
University B. In addition, the results showed significant differences
on satisfaction with university (F = 15.5; p = .00; p < .05)
favoring University A.
Table 2 indicates that the participants had a mean score of M
= 3.28 (SD = .46) on inter-student relations, M = 3.13 (SD = .47)
on offered opportunities, and M = 3.09 (SD = .55) on relations
with academicians. In addition they had a mean score of M =
3.07 (SD = .45) on relations with administration and M = 2.91
(SD = .45) on satisfaction with university. This may mean that
students were mostly satisfied with their friendship environment.
However, they were least satisfied with their university.
Pearson correlations are calculated in order to find the relationships
between the dependent and independent variables
in research. The findings for the correlations are also presented
in Table 2. Considering the correlations of dimensions of quality
of life, the highest relationship is found between relations
with administration and relations with academicians (r = .56;
p < .01), and the lowest is found between satisfaction with
university and relations with academicians (r = -.16; p < .05). In addition, there were positive correlations between inter-student
relations and relations with academicians (r = .41; p <
.05), relations with administration and inter-student relations
(r = .39; p < .05), and satisfaction with university and offered
opportunities (r = .26; p < .05). There were also a negative
correlation between relations with academicians and offered
opportunities (r = -.13; p < .01).
A regression analysis is conducted in order to determine the
direct relationships between the variables and the explanatory
power of independent variables on the dependent variables.
Relations with administration is evaluated as dependent
variable and the effects of the dimensions of quality of life on
these variables are defined. After that, a stepwise regression
analysis was conducted. The findings showing the effects of
the dimensions of quality of life on relations with administration
are presented in Table 3.
The findings of stepwise regression analysis showed that relations
with academicians had a significant and positive effect on
relations with administration (F1 = 189.54; p < .001) and that
relations with academicians explained 31.4% of variance on
relations with administration. The results also indicated that
inter-student relations had a significant and positive effect on
relations with administration (F2 = 109.62; p < .001) and that
inter-student relations were only able to explain 3.3% of variance
on relations with administration.
Findings from Qualitative Part of the Study
The answers provided from university students were coded
and explained in the fashion of frequencies and percentages
so that the levels of quality of life may be emphasized according
to their importance. In Table 4, the frequency values for
university students use of metaphors about their universities
are given. These metaphors are examined within two dimensions:
Metaphorical analogies in spiritual sense (f = 42) and
metaphorical analogies in materialistic sense (f = 233).
Metaphorical analogies provided in spiritual sense are being
examined in three dimensions: Emotions (f = 42), abstract concepts
(f = 24), and community or group (f = 18). The metaphors
used by university students were examined based on their
explanations. For the metaphors associated with emotions,
SC-179 (Student Coded-179) expressed that I feel like hell at
my university, and SC-47 said that University life is like the
actual life. Students use of metaphors about abstract concepts
were mainly about the metaphors such as nightmare
and friendship. SC-100 stated that What we go through
in this place is no different than having a nightmare. However,
SC-137 pointed out that I learned the meaning of true
friendship in my college. For the metaphors associated with
community or group, SC-8 mentioned that I have experienced
family warmth here.
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|Table 4: Answers Given on the Question: What Kind of Metaphors
do University Students Use about Their University?
Metaphorical analogies provided in materialistic sense are
being examined in six dimensions: Location or venue (f = 147),
animal (f = 14), plant (f = 12), goods (f = 31), food (f = 5), and
geographical terms (f = 24). SC-7 expressed that my life in
my university is very similar to my life in my own home. On
the other hand, SC-12 said that my college life is just like a
In Table 5, the frequency values for reasons behind why students
like their universities are given. These reasons are examined
within three dimensions: Type of education provided (f =
91), general structure of the universities (f = 149), and social
life of the universities (f = 106).
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|Table 5: Answers Given on the Question: What do University
Students Like the most about Their University?
Type of education provided in the universities are being examined
in six dimensions: Teachers attitude (f = 25), competence
of teaching staff (f = 26), adequate classroom setting (f = 9),
ease of passing classes (f = 11), quality of education (f = 17),
and universitys vision and mission (f = 3). Type of education
provided in terms of teachers attitude was explained by SC-96
as our teachers are not evil, they are understanding. For the
competence of teaching staff, SC-163 stated that our instructors
are well equipped with information. SC-70 said that there is sufficient material available, including tables and seats in the
classroom to explain the situation of the classroom settings.
Ease of passing courses was stated by SC-89 as passing lessons
at this university is like a childs play. SC-169 asserted that we
are able to receive a high level of education at my college to
mention the quality of education. Universitys vision and mission
was pointed out by SC-236 as I like vision, mission, and
education staff of this place.
General structure of the universities are being examined in two
dimensions: The interior of the university and opportunities
and life in the university. The interior of the university included
three dimensions: Library (f = 12), campus setting (f = 64), and
university cafeteria (f = 11). In addition, opportunities and life
in the university included four dimensions: Location of the
university (f = 23), the beauty of the city where the university
is located (f = 18), natural beauties (f = 14), and easy access (f =
7). General structure of the universities in terms of the interior
of the university was explained by SC-244 as my favorite thing
here is the school library. I can easily find everything Im looking
for. SC-46 stressed that the campus here is awesome. I think
its quite impossible to get bored here. In addition, SC-167
emphasized that having cafes where we can spend time on
campus makes our university more livable and enjoyable.
General structure of the universities in terms of opportunities
and life in the university was explained by SC-345 as in terms of location, having a protected and a safe area where
strangers cannot enter is the most enjoyable characteristic of
our university to mention about the location of the university.
For the beauty of the city where the university is located
SC-398 asserted that the beauty of the city in which my school
is located makes me a more connected person to this atmosphere
and lessons. SC-52 stated that the fact that my school
is nested with the natural environment brings me a situation
that both cheers and refreshes me to point out the natural
beauties surrounding the university. Lastly, SC-18 said that it
is very easy to reach the place where my faculty is located. This
is what I like the most about my university to explain the easy
access of the university.
Social life of the universities are being examined in four dimensions:
Friendship environment (f = 38), social activity (f = 14),
the name of the university and the facilities it offers (f = 30),
and respect, tolerance and free-thinking environment (f = 24).
Social life of the university in terms of friendship environment was explained by SC-72 that the atmosphere of friendship is
one of my favorite things at this university. For social activity,
SC-305 said that with a nice campus atmosphere, our university
is not only a place for education but also an institution
with a social environment. The name of the university and the
facilities it offers was explained by SC-405 as this is an educational
institution whose facilities are considerably much better
than other universities. Respect, tolerance and free-thinking
environment of the university explained by SC-402 as being
able to express ideas freely is one of the most important characteristics
of this university.
In Table 6, the frequency values for reasons behind why students
do not like their universities are given. These reasons
are examined within three dimensions: Physical features of
the university (f = 103), academic features of the university (f
= 127), and in-house service characteristics of the university (f
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|Table 6: Answers Given on the Question: What do University Students
Dislike the most about Their University?
Physical features of the university are being examined in two
dimensions: Physical inadequacy within the university (f = 48)
and Characteristics of the settlement area with the sub-dimension
of universitys residential area and transportation (f
= 52). Physical features of the university in terms of physical
inadequacy within the university was explained by SC-40 as
because of physical insufficiencies, we cannot get the level
of education we need from the school. These also affect our
success and our sense of belonging to the school. For the
characteristics of the settlement area of the university SC-56
mentioned that transportation is bad and we feel like we are
high school students.
Academic features of the university are being examined in
two dimensions: Situations arising due to academicians and
inadequacies arising from administrative staff. Situations arising
due to academicians included three sub-dimensions such
as technical competence of academicians (f = 39), intensity of
lessons (f = 17), and the egocentric behaviors of academicians
(f = 10). In addition, Inadequacies arising from administrative
staff included four sub-dimensions such as inadequate work
done by student affairs (f = 10), inadequate administrative staff
(f = 26), restricting the freedom of opinions (f = 11), and irregularity
of plans (f = 12). Academic features of the university in
terms of situations arising due to academicians was explained
by SC-63 as the inability of the lecturer teaching the courses
negatively affects us. For the technical competence of academicians
SC-268 pointed out that the constant intensity of the
courses is affecting our enjoyment of life. Intensity of lessons
was explained by SC-265 as teachers selfish behaviors have
become quite prevalent and unacceptable. The egocentric
behaviors of academicians mentioned by SC-384 as lecturers
high levels of egos and their related attitudes in higher education
institutions demoralize us.
Academic features of the university in terms of inadequacies
arising from administrative staff was emphasized by SC-51 as
student affairs is experiencing difficulties in providing answers
for students. We have to wait too long to get answers from
them to express how student affairs acts reluctant to provide help
for students. For inadequate administrative staff SC-88
stated that the administrative staff in our university is not
concerned about our problems. There is a very irregular working
environment. In addition, the instructors are inadequate
in teaching courses. Restricting the freedom of opinions was
explained by SC-224 as in our university, ideas are not freely
expressed, and school administration plays an important role
in this case. Lastly, irregularity of plans was stated by SC-282
as things are done in unplanned ways at my university. These
ways include serving food in schools dining room and even
cleaning the toilets.
In-house service characteristics of the university are being
examined in three dimensions: Scientific environment and lack
of materials (f = 26), social inadequacies (f = 56), and inadequate
space (f = 22). In-house service characteristics of the university was explained by SC-36 as the fact that the teachers who are
teaching courses in their fields are not able teach things in scientific
ways. What they do includes depending mainly on books
or power-point slides while teaching to emphasize lack of
materials and scientific environment. For social inadequacies
SC-39 asserted that grouping among students is prevalent in
my college. Being away from social and scientific activities are
things that I dont like about my university. For inadequate
space SC-95 stated that there isnt enough space for us to
participate in some activities.
This study included a mixed method approach and aimed to
determine quality life of students in terms of relations with
academicians, inter-student relations, relations with administration,
offered opportunities, and satisfaction with university
in three major Turkish universities. The levels of quality of
life based on the type of university of the participants were
examined and the results showed that the mean scores of
University C were higher than other universities on relations
with academicians, inter-student relations, and relations with
administration. These results imply that compared to other
universities, students in University C are satisfied more with
their life on items associated with their instructors, friends,
and school administration. Research suggests that university
lecturers (Williams et al., 1996), friendship environments
(Karatzias, Power, and Swanson, 2001), and the decision makers
(Epstein and McPatland, 1976; Fish and Dane, 2000) in
educational institutions may have positive effects on students
quality of life. The results also showed that the mean scores
of University B were higher than other universities on offered
opportunities. According to such results, one may suggest that
the availability of opportunities including facilities for leisure
time activities may increase the quality of life of students as
becoming more pleasurable in their universities. In parallel
findings, researchers found that social and cultural environments
involving activities provided by schools may determine
the level of life satisfaction of students (Cılga, 1994; Farquhar,
1995; Lehman, 1983; OConnor, 2000). Lastly, the findings indicated
that the mean scores of University A were higher than
other universities on satisfaction with university. It may be
concluded that students are satisfied in this university due to
having democratic and independent settings that enable them
to learn through effective transfer of information (Ainley, 1999;
Gander & Gardiner, 2010).
Based on the results, mean scores for all dimensions of quality
of life were considered to be at Sometimes level. These meant
that university students were not able to be precise about their
quality of life in terms of reasons related to their instructors,
friends, administrators, facilities, and university. Although the
study results suggest that students are uncertain about their
quality of life in their universities, previous studies indicate
that quality of life of students includes satisfaction associated
with various areas of life (Andrews & Withey, 1976; Campbell,
Converse, & Rogers, 1976; Cılga, 1994; Farquhar, 1995; Tekkanat,
2008). Similarly, researchers found that students may be
aware of their quality of life through their interest and happiness linked to their school life (Mok, & Flynn, 2002; Newcomb,
Bentler, & Collins, 1986; Williams et al., 1996). In addition to
mean scores on all dimensions, there was a positive and significant
relationship between relations with administration and
relations with academicians, but there was a negative and a
significant relationship between satisfaction with university
and relations with academicians. Students, who are satisfied
with their academicians at their university may tend to be
more satisfied with the administration of the university as well.
This perception may be possible as students may think that
school administration is successful at providing quality academicians
for teaching. In parallel findings, Sirgy, Grezeskowiak,
and Rahtz (2007) suggested that students academic levels and
their satisfaction with their academicians affect their quality of
life. Results of this study also showed that students, who are
satisfied with their university may not be satisfied with their
academicians. The main reasons may include ineffective teaching
skills, assignment of difficult projects, unfair grading, and
unpleasant behaviors of academicians towards their students.
Previous research findings show that the interactions between
academicians and students are one of the most important indicators
of quality of life of the students (Argon & Kösterelioğlu,
2009). In another study, researchers found that students, who
had positive feelings towards their university could have a
quality of life in such settings (Doğanay & Sarı, 2006; Milbrath
& Doyno, 1987; Singh et al., 2010).
The results of the qualitative part of the current study support
the findings from quantitative part of the study as current
studys results show that students use of metaphors and
what they like or dislike about their university depend on how
they perceive their quality of life on such setting. In terms of
use of metaphors, students mainly used types of metaphors
involving both spiritual and materialistic senses. It may be said
that students positive or negative perceptions were about
equal in such senses related to the types of metaphors they
used for their universities. These findings show that students
perceptions, expectations, concerns, and areas of satisfaction
may differ from one another in determining their quality of life
in university (DAndrea, 1998). What students liked or disliked
the most about their university included type of education
provided, general structures of university, and social life on the
campus. When the findings were compared, it was seen that
more students liked general structures of university and social
life on the campus than those who disliked such items. Parallel
to these findings, researchers found that there was a positive
and significant relationship between quality of life of students
and their social life on the campus (Kangal, 2009; Sirgy et al.,
2007; Tekkanat, 2008). However, more students disliked type
of education provided or academic structure of university than
those who liked such items. Similarly, Sirgy, Grezeskowiak,
and Rahtz (2007) found that students academic levels had
meaningful effects on the quality of life in the university. In
addition, Michalos and Orlando (2006) found that quality of
life of university students was affected the most by students
satisfaction with their academicians. In contrast to these findings,
Kangal (2009) indicated that academic level of students
and their satisfaction about universitys social life were not
meaningful indicators of their quality of life.
University students quality of life was determined according
to their relations with academicians, inter-student relations,
relations with administration, offered opportunities, and satisfaction
with university. The effects of these factors on quality
of life of students may vary depending on the type university.
Current study suggests that students are not decisive about
which of the factors impact their quality of life. Depending on
the results, one may suggest that there is a need in terms of
raising awareness among students about what actually affect
their quality of life on campus settings. In conclusion, when
managed effectively, higher education institutions have a tremendous
impact on knowledge, skills, and values of students
to have better living conditions. Because these institutions
prepare all students as professionals for real world situations,
more attention should be paid to increase quality of life of university
students. Stakeholders in higher education institutions
must create necessary conditions so that university students
as future professionals, who will lead, teach, and influence
society may have a unique academic freedom, develop innovative
ideas, and be eager to find effective solutions to societal
Quality of life of university students was determined according
to the perceptions of the students attending to three different
state universities. In the future, the numbers of the participants
may be increased and research may be conducted at both
state and private universities instead of just the state ones. In
addition, the current study examined quality of life of students
into account on individual level rather than on organizational
level. Determining quality of life of students on organizational
level may make substantial contributions to the literature. This
research also includes some limitations. First, although there
were seven regions in Turkey, the data was collected from universities
located in three different regions. Secondly, when all
grade levels of university students were considered, the majority
of the participants of this study included senior students,
which constitutes another limiting factor for research.
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