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ERIC Number: EJ1018564
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1745-4999
Are Postgraduate Students "Rational Choosers"? An Investigation of Motivation for Graduate Study amongst International Students in England
Mowjee, Bisma
Research in Comparative and International Education, v8 n2 p193-213 2013
In England, since the 1980s, neo-liberalism has dominated political discourse, and its effects have been extending into the higher-education landscape, challenging traditional conceptions of the university as serving the public good and driving them towards becoming corporate entities selling private commodities. This change has created an underlying tension within the public realm, as policies are being reduced to economic calculation. Currently, the system assumes the student to function as "rational economic man", that is, as a self-interested, rational, economically driven optimiser and the university to operationalise as an anthropomorphised corporation, each having vested economic interests in the other. This study aims to delve into this "friction" in the context of postgraduate, international students by exploring whether their motivations diverge from policy goals, therefore possibly reflecting the purported conflict of interests running through public debates. The findings indicate that students' decision-making processes are multi-faceted and complex, far more than policies take into consideration. Whilst students are driven by "rational" motives, these are most often combined with "non-rational" factors, therefore calling into question the current trajectory that higher education in England is lending itself towards, namely a neo-liberal agenda.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A