Cyprien Sikubwabo, André Muhirwa, Philothère Ntawiha


This study adds on the available literature on higher education with regard to student enrollments. The purpose of the study was to find out institutional factors influencing the decrease of student enrollments in 6 selected private higher learning institutions in Rwanda. This study adopted a quantitative research design. The study used a sample of 370 undergraduate students that were selected using stratified sampling technique. The data was collected using a structured questionnaire in the form of likert scales. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics (percentages, frequencies, means and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (simple linear regression). The findings revealed that institutional factors have a significant influence on the decrease of student enrollments in private higher learning institutions in Rwanda. Seven institutional factors were found to be the most influencing. These are namely: (1) inflexible and unmarketable programs, (2) high costs, (3) inflexible payment modalities, (4) students’ poor living conditions, (5) poor internet connection, (6) institutional bad location and (7) inflexible academic rules and regulations. The study recommended that managers of private higher learning institutions in Rwanda should be aware of the factors influencing the decrease of student enrollments and devise sound strategies to improve on them. The study also recommended that managers of these institutions should make sure that a survey on students’ satisfaction level is conducted regularly in order to identify the students’ problems and solve them accordingly.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


institutional factors, student enrollments, higher learning institutions, decrease, private

Full Text:



Aliaga, M., & Gunderson, B. (2005). Interactive Statistics (3rd Ed.). USA: Prentice Hall.

Allan Brian Senyonga (2013). Demand for higher education keeps growing. The New Times. Retrieved from

Amponsah, E. B. & Onuoha, L. N. (2013). The Performance and challenges of private universities in Ghana and Nigeria. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 5 (4), 256-257.

Anim, K. S., & Mensah, J. (2015). Service Quality in Higher Education: A Comparative Study in Tertiary Institutions in Sub Saharan Africa. Global Journal of Educational Studies, 1 (2), 24-44.

Azman, I., & Yusrizal Y. (2016). Service quality as a predictor of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Log Forum-Scientific Journal of Logistics. 12, 269-283.Doi 10.17270/J.LOG.2016.4.7.

Barett, P., & Treves, A. (2019). The impact of school infrastructure on learning: A synthesis of evidence. Washington: The World Bank.

Brady, M. K., & Cronin J. J. (2001). Some new thoughts on conceptualizing perceived service quality: A hierarchical approach. Journal of Marketing, 65 (7), 34-49. doi:10.1509/jmkg.

Bruckmeier, K., Georg-Benedikt F., & Berthold, U. W. (2013). The Willingness to Pay for Higher Education: Does the Type of Fee Matter?. Applied Economics Letters, 20 (13), 1279–1282.

Coelli, M. B. (2009). Tuition Fees and Equality of University Enrolment. The Canadian Journal of Economics, 42 (3), 1072-1099.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational Research planning and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Boston: Pearson Education Inc.

Danjuma, I., Shasi, N., & Hauwa, A. B. (2014). Relationship between customer service and students' enrollment into private universities. Sains Humanika2(3), 75–78.

Denny, K. (2014). The Effect of Abolishing University Tuition Costs: Evidence from Ireland, Labor. Economics, 26, 26–33.

Frazier, W. R. (2009). A study of themed residential learning communities at a Midwest four-year university: (Doctorate thesis, North Dakota State University, 2009).

Freedman, S. W., Weinstein, H. M. Longman, T. (2006). Teaching the history of Rwanda: Participatory approach. Human Rights center, University of California: Berkeley.

Hamed, T. (2016). Sampling Methods in Research Methodology; How to Choose a Sampling Technique for Research. International Journal of Academic Research in Management, 5(2):18-27.

Helmet, S. W., & Marcotte, D. E. (2011).The Impact of Tuition Increases on Enrollment at Public Colleges and Universities. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis,33 (4):435-457.

Higher Education Council (HEC, 2019). List of private Higher Learning Institutions in Rwanda. Retrieved on May 12th 2020, from

Hossler, D., Braxton, J., & Coopersmith, G. (1989). Understanding student college choice. In J. C. Smart (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research(pp. 231-288). New York: Agathon Press.

Hoyt, J. E., & Brown, A. B. (2003). Identifying college choice factors to successfully market your institution. College and University, 78(4), 3–10.

Irfan, R., Wasim, A., Rana, U. A. & Nadeem, A. (2013). Factors Affecting University and Course Choice: A Comparison of Undergraduate Engineering and Business Students in Central Punjab, Pakistan. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, 3, 298-305.

Kara, A. M., Tanui, E., & Kalai, J. M. (2016). Educational Service Quality and Students’ Satisfaction in Public Universities in Kenya. International Journal of Education and Social Science, 3 (10), 37- 48.

Khosravi, A. A., Poushaneh, K., & Roozegar, A. & Sohrabifard, N. (2013). Determination of Factors Affecting Student Satisfaction of Islamic Azad University. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 84, 579 – 583.

Kioko, M. G. (2012). Factors influencing enrolment of students in the bachelor of education (arts) by distance studies at the University of NAIROBI. (Unpublished Masters’ Thesis, University of Nairobi, 2012).

Kola, A. (2013). Perceived Causes of Students’ Low Enrolment in Science in Secondary Schools, Nigeria. International Journal of secondary education, 1, 18-22.

Kim, D., & Kim, S. (2018). Sustainable Education: Analyzing the Determinants of University Student Dropout by Nonlinear Panel Data Models. Sustainability, 10, 95-104.

Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W. (1970). Determining sample size for research activities.

Educational and psychological measurement, 30, 607-610.

Kroth, A. J. (2015). The Effects of the Introduction of Tuition on College Enrollment in Germany: Results from a Natural Experiment with Special Reference to Students from Low Parental Education Backgrounds. (Unpublished Doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan, 2015).

Kwun, D., Emily, E., & Choi, Y. (2013). Campus Foodservice Attributes and their Effects on Customer Satisfaction, Image, and Word-of-mouth. Journal of Food service Business Research,16,276-297. Doi 10.1080/15378020.2013.810534.

Lang, D., Chan, H., Pask-Aube, C., & Swift, K. (2009).Does the level of tuition fees affect student retention and graduation? Retrieved June 11, 2018, from

Lavy, S., Nixon, J. L. (2017). Applications, Enrollment, Attendance, and Student Performance in Rebuilt School Facilities: A Case Study. International journal of construction education and research, 13 (2), 125–141.

Le, T. D., Dobele, A. R., & Robonson L. (2019). Understanding high school students use of choice factors and word-of-mouth information sources in university selection. Retrieved April 14, 2019, from

MacGregor, K. (21 June 2014). A new university, new international leader, new future. Retrieved from

Mahmood, al. (2014). Investigating Students' Satisfaction Level on Implicit Services of Malaysian Public Higher Education Institutions. Gadding business and management journal, 18,41-59.

Matsolo, M. J., Ningpuanyeh, W. C. & A Susuman, S. (2018). Factors affecting the enrolment rate of students in Higher Education Institutions in the Gauteng province, South Africa. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 53(1): 63 – 80.

Matzdorf, F. & Suckley, L. (2003). The impact of facilities on student choice of university. Facilities, 21 (10), 212-222.

Ministry of Education (2013). Education Sector Strategic Plan 2013/14 –2017/18.Kigali-Rwanda: MINEDU.

Ministry of Education (2018). Education Statistical 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2018 from

Nelson, L. (2014). College majors around the world, in 6 maps. Retrieved September 16, 2019, from

Neill, C. (2009). Tuition fees and the Demand for University Places. Economics of Education. Review, 28 (5), 561–570.

Ombati, C. M. (2012). Factors influencing student enrollment in Christian Religious Education subject in public secondary in Nyamachi Division, Kisii Country, Kenya. (Master’s thesis, University of Nairobi, 2012).

Onditi, E. O., & Wechuli, T. W. (2017). Service Quality and Student Satisfaction in Higher Education Institutions. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications,7(7), 328-335.

Roser, M., & Ortiz-Ospina, E. (2010). Tertiary education. Retrieved July 12, 2018, from

Rwirahira, R. (2017). Private Universities petition over president over closures. Retrieved from

Sang, L., Choi, I., Zaiton & Tan, K. (2013). An Analysis on the Relationship between Lecturers’ Competencies and Students’ Satisfaction. International Education Studies, 7, 37-52.

Sithole, A. et al. (2017). Student Attraction, Persistence and Retention in STEM Programs: Successes and Continuing Challenges. Higher Education Studies, 7(1), 46-59.

Stender, E. & Herman, C. (2017). Barriers and challenges private higher education Institutions face in the management of quality assurance in South Africa. South African Journal of Higher Education, 31 (5), 206-224.

Tabinas C. (2014). What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative research? Retrieved March 10, 2019, from

Teixeira, P. & Koryakina, T. (2011). Funding reforms and revenue diversification: patterns, challenges and rhetoric. Studies in Higher Education, 8, 1-18.

Terenzini, P. T., Cabrera, A. F., & Bernal, E. M. (2001). Swimming against the tide: The poor in American higher education (College Board Research Report No. 2001–3). New York: College Entrance Examination Board.

Ulyani, M. N., Aini, Y.& Nazirah, Z. A. (2011). Student residential satisfaction in research universities. Journal of Facilities Management, 9(3), 200-212.

UNESCO Institute of statistics (2018). UIS Education Data Release: September 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2019, from

Walsh, C., Moorhouse, J., Dunnett, A. & Barry, C. (2015). University choice: which attributes matter when you are paying the full price. International Journal of Consumer Studies. 39 (6), 670-681.

Weerasinghe & Fernando, R. L. S. (2018). Critical factors affecting students' satisfaction with higher education in Sri Lanka. Retrieved September 12, 2019, from



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Cyprien Sikubwabo, André Muhirwa, Philothère Ntawiha

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2023. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).