Factors Motivating International Students Studying Overseas
International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities 19(4):81-99
Posted: 16 Apr 2018
Date Written: January 22, 2013
This paper examines the motivations of international students in studying. It uses survey results and follow-up focus group material and compares the results of international with home students. The survey asked students to identify in order the most powerful reasons they felt they were studying such as parental desire, individual achievement goals, peer group, and family pressures; the focus groups discussed the influences of personal and cultural factors in greater depth.
A mixed methodology was used with the survey data analysed quantitatively and the focus groups qualitatively. The quantitative data are derived from an online survey administered to undergraduate accounting students in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. There were 273 useable responses to this survey, conducted from October 2008 - June 2009, together with qualitative discursive transcribed material from six focus groups, two at each university.
It was found that both international and home students were driven by individual and personal factors rather than social factors. These results are linked to theories of motivation such as attribution theory and the expectancy value theory.
Keywords: Focus groups, motivation, international students
JEL Classification: Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation