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The role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations on student choice: an evaluation of key motivators and moderating factors when applying to university

The role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations on student choice: an evaluation of key motivators and moderating factors when applying to university
The role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations on student choice: an evaluation of key motivators and moderating factors when applying to university
When making the decision to go to university, students are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors (motivation variables), set against the backdrop of an evolving competitive UK Higher Education (HE) market, with increasing emphasis on institutions being self-sustainable. This is all coupled with the fast-paced introduction of new – and changes to existing – marketing communication channels.

From an academic perspective, existing theoretical models have either not been tested within or simply do not incorporate these changes to marketing communications channels. Employing the expectancy–value theory, this study provides an evaluation into the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation variables of students and explores the extent to which intervening variables moderate the impact of these motivations when making a final choice. This mixed methods research, involving both quantitative and qualitative elements, makes a comparison of the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of students who chose to attend either a vocational or a traditional Higher-Education institution. The research also explores the extent to which intervening variables (socio-demographic, environmental, informational, and personal influences) moderate the impact of these motivations. The views of students, HE marketing and administration staff, and HE industry experts provide an insight into some key stakeholder perspectives.

The main findings of this study suggest that students at both the vocational and traditional institution place value on the employability intrinsic motivating variable, and there is adherence given to the role of the lifestyle intrinsic motivating variable at both institutions. However, while the city aspects of lifestyle are more prevalent to the students at a vocational institution, the institution-based lifestyle elements are more relevant to students at a traditional institution. The traditional institution has more credence with familial influencers, yet students at the vocational institution place emphasis on the digital influencers. What is particularly interesting is the extent to which parental influence plays a role as a familial influencer.

This study provides guidance for HEIs, students, parents, and policy makers when considering the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators of students and suggests how HEIs can intervene in the relationship between motivation and choice. Finally, this research presents a new conceptual model in the field of HE choice. This model is empirically tested – a feature that has been generally neglected within existing studies.

University of Southampton
Peck, David William
0086ef84-a96d-4184-b1cd-7ee8771c861c
Peck, David William
0086ef84-a96d-4184-b1cd-7ee8771c861c
Shukla, Paurav
d3acd968-350b-40cf-890b-12c2e7aaa49d

Peck, David William (2020) The role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations on student choice: an evaluation of key motivators and moderating factors when applying to university. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 352pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

When making the decision to go to university, students are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors (motivation variables), set against the backdrop of an evolving competitive UK Higher Education (HE) market, with increasing emphasis on institutions being self-sustainable. This is all coupled with the fast-paced introduction of new – and changes to existing – marketing communication channels.

From an academic perspective, existing theoretical models have either not been tested within or simply do not incorporate these changes to marketing communications channels. Employing the expectancy–value theory, this study provides an evaluation into the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation variables of students and explores the extent to which intervening variables moderate the impact of these motivations when making a final choice. This mixed methods research, involving both quantitative and qualitative elements, makes a comparison of the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of students who chose to attend either a vocational or a traditional Higher-Education institution. The research also explores the extent to which intervening variables (socio-demographic, environmental, informational, and personal influences) moderate the impact of these motivations. The views of students, HE marketing and administration staff, and HE industry experts provide an insight into some key stakeholder perspectives.

The main findings of this study suggest that students at both the vocational and traditional institution place value on the employability intrinsic motivating variable, and there is adherence given to the role of the lifestyle intrinsic motivating variable at both institutions. However, while the city aspects of lifestyle are more prevalent to the students at a vocational institution, the institution-based lifestyle elements are more relevant to students at a traditional institution. The traditional institution has more credence with familial influencers, yet students at the vocational institution place emphasis on the digital influencers. What is particularly interesting is the extent to which parental influence plays a role as a familial influencer.

This study provides guidance for HEIs, students, parents, and policy makers when considering the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators of students and suggests how HEIs can intervene in the relationship between motivation and choice. Finally, this research presents a new conceptual model in the field of HE choice. This model is empirically tested – a feature that has been generally neglected within existing studies.

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Published date: July 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 447671
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/447671
PURE UUID: b9204349-dd20-465b-ab1f-dbf4ec47c1ba
ORCID for Paurav Shukla: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1957-8622

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Mar 2021 17:34
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 03:32

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Contributors

Author: David William Peck
Thesis advisor: Paurav Shukla ORCID iD

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