The increase in competition and intensifying market forces encouraged universities to sustain quality improvement in Higher Education Institutions. The aim of this paper is to introduce a conceptual model of student satisfaction with higher education experience based on the identification of the variable determinants of student perceived quality and the impact of those variables on student satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction with the overall student experience. This study concerns students in higher education institutions in Istanbul Turkey. This paper uses 41 item instrument of service quality which is applicable for TQM in education industry taking the SERVQUAL five dimensions for quality as basis. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses empirically verified and validated the underlying dimensions of perception of student satisfaction, TQM and organizational performance. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate the models and compare coefficients and latent means. In other words structural equation modeling was employed to test the model drawing on a sample of 1752 students from private universities. Decision makers will be able to use this instrument to identify the extent of TQM implementation in higher education institutions, while researchers will be able to use it for furthering TQM research in education. The results can be used by higher education institutions to renovate their quality-management processes and education quality strategies. (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.