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:||Motivation, Learner Diversity and Identities, Expectancy Theory, Attribution, International Student|
Teaching Fellow, College of Education, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Professor, School of Accounting and Commercial Law, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand