PurposeHEdPERF (Higher Education PERFormance) is one of the most recently developed scales in the literature to measure service quality in higher education. However, HEdPERF is designed to measure service quality at a macro level (university level) and may be considered as a more generic measurement instrument. In higher education, new scales with a much narrower focus may need to be developed for micro levels within a university because of the unique nature of different academic units. The purpose of this paper is to develop an instrument for measuring service quality in the School of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, PESPERF (namely Physical Education and Sports Sciences PERFormance).Design/methodology/approachA 30‐item questionnaire on service quality in higher education was developed and tested for unidimensionality, reliability and validity using both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. In total, 320 physical education and sports sciences students participated in the study in a classroom setting.FindingsStudy results indicate that three dimensions (academic aspects, empathy, and access) capture the determinants of service quality in the School of Physical Education and Sports Sciences (PESS).Research limitations/implicationsSample size, cultural factors and the complex nature of university customers limits one's ability to generalize these results to broader populations.Practical implicationsThrough the use of service quality dimensions presented in this study, PESS administrators can successfully measure and monitor service quality perceptions in their institutions. Having identified the areas of service quality improvement priorities, administrators can allocate appropriate resources to encourage continuous service quality improvements.Originality/valueThis paper uses existing literature on service quality and develops an instrument that provides insights into measuring service quality for a specific academic unit within a university.

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