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ERIC Number: EJ920837
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0313-7155
The Importance of Directly Asking Students Their Reasons for Attending Higher Education
Kennett, Deborah J.; Reed, Maureen J.; Lam, Dianne
Issues in Educational Research, v21 n1 p65-74 2011
Few studies have directly asked undergraduate students their reasons for coming to institutions for higher learning and, instead, have been developed based on theoretical rationale. We asked undergraduate students to list all of their reasons for attending university and to indicate those most important. Overall, students reported more than five and most listed both internal and external reasons. Highly endorsed internal reasons included self-improvement, achieving life goals, whereas highly endorsed external reasons pertained to career and family. Upper-year students listed more reasons for attending and tended to list reasons pertaining to self-improvement/satisfaction and societal contributions. Many first year students attended to prove to others they could earn a degree. Although many of the items students endorsed here concurred with other popular scales' items, some of the central listed items did not, with many items on some scales not even being mentioned by our sample. The complexity of reasons our students listed may help to explain outcomes such as GPA, retention and satisfaction. (Contains 2 tables.)
Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc. 5/202 Coode Street, Como, Western Australia 6152, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada