Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (Print ISSN: 1098-8394; Online ISSN: 1528-2651)

Research Article: 2018 Vol: 21 Issue: 1

Convergence of Motives for Higher Education: A Study on the Aspiring Students in India

Monika Bangari, Uttranchal University

Dhani Shanker Chaubey, Uttranchal University

 

Abstract

Higher education is more than a stepping stone to a career. It's about learning how to develop a better you. The main purpose of this study was to understand the various motives of students to pursue higher education and to know the convergence of motives of aspiring students for higher education. For this purpose survey of 221 respondents were done to establish dimensions for motives of higher education. The collected data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social sciences Research (SPSS) and various statistical tests were applied. It has been observed that the convergence of motives for higher education is acquisition of knowledge, skill and competencies. Higher education is not just about learning but it is about opportunity for further personal development.

Keywords

Higher Education, Motives, Acquisition of Knowledge, Aspiring Students, Skill Development, Learning.

Introduction

Higher education is becoming a necessity for the youth to enhance the pace of living. Indian society is now placing more importance for higher studies than ever before. Many individuals value higher studies for financial reasons. They trust that an advanced education will enable them to discover more lucrative professions that have high compensations and abundant open doors for raises and rewards. These money related advantages might have the capacity to build a man's living condition since he or she will have the capacity to manage the cost of lodging and wellbeing costs. In numerous ways, life starts at graduation for students-they start to put their insight into utilization and deal with their own particular funds and life designs. So educational institutions should concentrate not simply on whether understudies have learned material, but rather where it will take understudies later. At the present time our schools measure learning pick up starting with one year then onto the next. On the other hand, understudies (even better than average ones) come to class as a necessary chore. It is a venturing stone to their life objectives. We have to unite those two esteems. Truth be told, schools will never understand the full energy of their effect on the financial soundness of our country until the point that they begin measuring post-graduation achievement.

Higher education is not just about learning but it is about opportunity for further personal development. Preparing oneself for a career is not the only practical benefit of a college education.

The study is divided into several segments. The first segment includes the status of higher education in India followed by the literature review on student’s motives and perception about higher education. Second Segment includes objective of the study and research methodology. Third segment includes the analysis and interpretation of the collected data and the last segment includes the conclusion and discussion part of the research study.

Higher Education Status In India

The mission of higher education is to achieve access, equality, justice, quality, employability, inclusiveness and create a knowledge society economy. In India there are about 47 central universities 360 state public universities 262 state private universities 123 deemed universities and 42338 colleges (UGC annual report 2016-2017). During the academic year 2016-2017 there were 294.27 lakh students enrolled in various courses at all levels in universities/colleges and other universities of higher education. The percentage of students enrolled for Masters (PG) courses had been 9.61% while a small proportion, i.e., 0.79% of the total number of students has enrolled for research courses (Ph.D./M.Phil.).Similarly, only 2.60% and 0.61% of the total number of students has been enrolled in Diploma/certificate courses (UGC annual report 2016-2017). Hence the secondary information as provided by the UGC shows that conversion of students enrolled for graduation to post graduate courses is very low. The main aim of this paper is to explore the reasons of low conversion as well as helps to find out the motives of students pursuing higher studies.

Theoretical Framework

Structural shifts in global economy, productivity enhancement and technological progress are driving demand for highly skilled workers, innovators and knowledge workers. Across all subjects of study, the primary purpose for students entering higher education was to improve their career prospects and as a pathway for career enhancement. Students expected institutions to offer advice and guidance to support them in developing their employability for future careers within and beyond their formal course. Students spoke of needing to go beyond their degree to gain the skills and experience they would need for employment, highlighting the importance of extra?curricular activities, internships and work placement opportunities. Students were rarely satisfied with centralized careers services.

Laurel et al. (2004) highlighted salient personal and social factors in the context of changing educational aspirations and opportunities. They propose a general model of the personal and social factors to explain pathways to higher education. The first is the amount of time and effort students put into academic pursuits and other activities that decades of research show are associated with high levels of learning and development (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). The second is how institutions allocate their resources and organise their curriculum, other learning opportunities and support services (Kuh, Palmer & Kish, 2003).

Although previous studies agree that role of education and perception for pursuing higher studies would determine by various dimensions that helps institutions as well as students to design themselves for the betterment of enhancing the economy, which motives influence the Indian students to pursue higher education is relatively unexplored. Some authors focus on students’ perception of learning environment across their entire degree and the way these perceptions are related with study and learning outcomes (Lizzio, Wilson & Simons, 2002). Others focus on students’ characteristics, such as status and socio-economic background, influence perception of higher education quality (Akareem & Hossain, 2012). Very few studies, however, have statistically measured the different motives of students to pursue higher education. Therefore this research will identify the convergence of motives to pursue higher education from the prospect of aspiring students in India.

In present research work, researcher has tried to explore the convergence of motives to pursue higher education raising the certain questions:

? What are the factors that influence students to go for higher studies?

? Whether the motive of student to choose professional or academic degree from higher educational institutions differs significantly?

? Whether the institutions value enhances the student’s value in their society?

Objective Of Study

1. To study and understand the various motives of students to pursue higher education.

2. To know the convergence of motives of aspiring students for higher education.

Assumption of Hypothesis

Hypothesis No. 1

H0: The institutional values do not enhance the student’s value in the society.

H1: The institutional values do not enhance the student’s value in the society.

Hypothesis No. 2

H0: Students motives for higher education does not differ significantly across their nature of qualification.

H1: Students motives for higher education differ significantly across their nature of qualification.

Methodology

The research study focus on the convergence of motives of students for higher education. The study uses quantitative approach with the help of survey method. The questionnaire for gathering data for this study was derived from motives expectation and preparedness for university, developed by (Bryne & Flood, 2005). The instrument consists of both closed and open type questions. Closed type questions answered using five point liker scales. The first section of the questionnaire gather information about students profile and the second part investigates student’s motives for pursuing higher education. The last part of the questionnaire focused on the student’s opinion about the value of institution enhances their value in the society and important factors responsible for student’s professional growth. The instrument also asked students to indicate how often they discuss their ideas and worries for career choices. The questionnaire was administered in the mid of 2017-2018 academic session to students enrolled in the top ranking private and public universities in India. The questionnaire is distributed to 500 students and a total of 221 responses were taken on the basis simple random sampling. Reliability study was carried out to check the internal consistency of response and found to be 0.889. KMO test was carried out to check whether data are sufficient to go for factor analysis and it was found to be 0.7000 which justify the data for factor analysis. Percentage analysis was done to analyse the demographic characteristics of the respondents and Karl Pearson’s Chi Square Test was used to test the objectivity of the framed hypothesis.

Data Analysis And Interpretation

The above Table 1 indicates that out of 221 respondents, students who belong to the age group of below 20 years old were (11.8%), 51.1% of the respondents were within the ages of 20-25 years, while 32.1% of the respondents were within 25-30 years and 5% of the respondents were between 30-35 years. Therefore, it indicates greater number of respondents were within 20 to 25 years, which represents 113 respondents and followed by 25 to 30 years, which represent 71 respondents. The table depicts 67.9% of the respondents were male and the rest 32.1% were females. It shows that the majority of the respondents are holders of first degree (65.8%) followed by diploma (21.6%), secondary (9.1%) and above first degree (3.5%) respectively. Regarding marital status of the respondents, 69.2% of the respondents are single, 30.8% of them are married. Majority of the respondents belong to family size of more than 6 members that is 39.4% followed by 3-4 members 31.7% and 5-6 members 24.4% and rest belong to up to 2 members family 4.5%. Moreover, Table 1 shows that 34 of the respondents earns income between Rs. 25000-35000 per month which represents 15.4% and shows that 146 of the respondents earns income between Rs. 35000-50000 per month which represents 66.1%, 41 out of 221 respondents earns income above Rs. 50000 per month which represents 18.6%.

Table 1: Demographic Characteristics Of Respondents
Item Number Percentage
Age
Below-20 years 26 11.8
20-25 years 113 51.1
25-30 years 71 32.1
30-35 years 11 5
Gender
Male 150 67.9
Female 71 32.1
Marital Status
Unmarried 153 69.2
Married 68 30.8
Family Size
Upto 2 members 10 4.5
3-4 members 70 31.7
5-6 members 54 24.4
More than 6 members 87 39.4
Income
25000 to Rs. 35000 PM 34 15.4
Rs. 35000 to Rs. 50000 PM 146 66.1
Above Rs. 50000 PM 41 18.6

The information presented in the Table 2 indicates that majority of the aspiring students (50.2) of Indian society feel that institute value builds or improves their value in the society to a great extent. In comparison to this, 31.2 and 14.9% students agreed to some extent and to a considerable extent. Very few (3.6%) of the sampled students feel that there is no impact of value of institute to enhance their value in the society.

Table 2: Institute Value Enhances The Value Of Students In The Society
  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
To a great extent 111 50.2 50.2 50.2
To some extent 69 31.2 31.2 81.4
To a considerable extent 33 14.9 14.9 96.4
Not at all 8 3.6 3.6 100.0
Total 221 100.0 100.0  

The information presented in the Table 3 indicates the important factors motivating for choosing particular course of higher education. Survey reveals that indicates that most of the respondents, i.e., 79.2% feel that uniqueness of the course having professional orientation is the most important factor responsible for choosing particular course of higher education. Another 20.8% respondents indicated that brand image of higher educational institutes motivated them to choose particular course of higher education. This signifies that uniqueness of course is the most important for the student to go for higher studies.

Table 3: Important Factors Motivating For Choosing Particular Course Of Higher Education
  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Uniqueness of the course having professional orientation 175 79.2 79.2 79.2
Brand image of higher educational institutes 46 20.8 20.8 100.0
Total 221 100.0 100.0  

Today student has become more career sensitive and tries to discuss the career related issue with family and even with teachers and other academic professionals. The study indicates that the student social sensitivity as around 49.8% students sometime discuss about their worries and ideas about the career choice and 25.3% students always discuss and have innovative approach for their ideas for career choice and 24.9% students occasionally go through the discussion about the career choice(Table 4).

Table 4: Discussion Of Ideas And Worries About Career Choice
  Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Always 56 25.3 25.3 25.3
Sometime 110 49.8 49.8 75.1
Occasionally 55 24.9 24.9 100.0
Total 221 100.0 100.0  

Factor Analysis

The Factor Analysis is an explorative analysis. Much like the cluster analysis grouping similar cases, the factor analysis group’s similar variables into dimensions. This process is also called identifying latent variables. Keeping these into consideration, an attempt was made to identify the Factors of motives for pursuing higher education by the aspiring students of India. The factors have been given appropriate names on the basis of variables represented in each case. The names of the factors, the statements, the labels and factor loading have been summarized in Table 5 Varimax rotated factor analysis results for factors are shown in Table 5 which indicates that after 6 factors are extracted and retained the communality is 0.659 for variable1, 0.722 for variable 2 and so on. It means that approximately 62.338% of the variance of variable1 is being captured by 6 extracted factors together. The proportion of the variance in any one of the original variable which is being captured by the extracted factors is known as communality.

Table 5 : Rotated Component Matrix
Component
  Acquisition of knowledge, skill and competencies Better future opportunities Enhancing self-efficiency Recognition motives Career prospect Gaining self esteem Loading Factor
I aspire to go for higher studies to learn more 0.768           0.659
I intend to go for higher education in university because I want to develop my mind and intellectual abilities 0.701           0.722
I intend to go for higher study to enrich my knowledge 0.607           0.559
I intend to go for higher studies with the intention to create the positive attitude towards profession 0.56           0.497
I aspire to become a professional and view this degree as a good stepping-stone 0.535           0.598
I intend to go for higher study to gain more competencies in the field 0.526           0.575
This degree will help me develop knowledge and skills which will be useful in my life after university 0.41           0.63
I aspire to go for higher education to meet the future dynamics   0.785         0.642
I aspire to go for higher studies as it will help me in shifting my career.   0.702         0.658
I am intend to go for higher studies to add a credintial to resume   0.647         0.621
I intend to go for higher education to encash the global opportunities   0.608         0.598
I am intending to go for higher studies to increase my earning potential   0.431         0.448
I intend to go for higher study to enhance my scope     0.734       0.611
there is no better scope without PG degree     0.646       0.71
I want to learn more about firms and business management     0.62       0.645
I want to develop a better understanding of my self     0.589       0.59
Coming to university affords me three more years to decide what I really want to do.       0.775     0.667
I am intending to go for higher studies to get recognition in my family       0.699     0.679
I am intending to go for higher studies to get recognized by society       0.646     0.708
I am attracted by the career prospects available after higher education         0.688   0.619
I am intending to go for higher studies to have a better chance of being promoted         0.683   0.633
I intend to go for higher studies to fulfill my professional aspiration         0.671   0.748
This degree will enable me to get a good job         0.522   0.63
I believe that university will give me the opportunity to improve my self-belief and confidence           0.809 0.711
I intend to go for higher studies to increase my self-esteem and self-confidence           -0.484 0.513
Total 8.838 1.773 1.573 1.225 1.117 1.06  
% of Variance 35.352 7.091 6.291 4.898 4.466 4.239  
Cumulative % 35.352 42.443 48.734 53.632 58.098 62.338  

Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis, Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization a. Rotation converged in 7 iterations

Principal components & associated Variables indicate that first factor (F1 ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL DEVELOPMENT) indicating that the students are highly motivated to go for higher studies to acquire knowledge learn more and mainly for their skill development. And accounts for 35.35% variance of the total variances. The second Factor (F2) is BETTER FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES indicates that students wants to add credential to their resume and higher education helps them to meet future dynamics and accounts for 7.09% of total variance. The third factor (F3) is ENHANCING SELF EFFICIENCY indicates that the students intend to go for higher studies to enhance learning and development opportunities and there is no better scope without PG degree dynamics and accounts for 6.29% of total variance. The fourth factor (F4) is RECOGNITION MOTIVES indicates that the students intend to go for higher studies to get recognition in family and society dynamics and accounts for 4.8% of total variance. The fifth factor (F5) is CAREER PROSPECTS indicates that the students intend to go for higher studies to get better career prospects, chance to get promotion in their field and to fulfil their professional aspiration dynamics and accounts for 4.4% of total variance. The sixth factor (F6) is GAINING SELF ESTEEM indicates that the students intend to go for higher studies to enhance self-belief, self-esteem and confidence dynamics and accounts for 4.2% of total variance.

It is clear from Table 6 that the mean rating of acquisition of knowledge skill and competencies as well as recognition motives scores highest, i.e., 4.0 and 4.1 respectively among the students of business management. However the mean of enhancing self-efficiency among graduation students is 3.9. Hence acquisition of knowledge skill and competencies, enhancing self-efficiency and career prospects is main motives of higher education among aspiring students of India.

Table 6 : Mean Of Factors Across Qualification Degree Of Students
Degree Acquisition of knowledge, skill and competencies Better future opportunities Enhancing self efficiency Recognition motives Career prospect Gaining self esteem
Business management 4.0089 3.9562 3.8828 4.0938 4.1172 3.7656
Graduation 3.8647 3.7579 3.9474 4.0702 3.8421 3.8158
Engineering 3.8439 3.7185 3.6204 3.9012 3.8611 3.8704
Medical 3.7177 3.6747 3.5753 3.7791 3.6476 3.3133
Law 3.7013 3.5515 3.7576 3.6768 3.6212 3.3636
Total 3.8009 3.7149 3.69 3.8643 3.7805 3.5656

One way Anova was carried out to check the hypothesis that the mean of motives for higher education does not differ significantly across the nature of qualification of respondents. From the above table it is clear that the calculated value of F is greater than the table value (2.37). Thus null hypothesis is rejected indicating that there is significant difference in the mean across the nature of qualification i.e., business management, law, medical and engineering students(table 7).

Table 7: Mean Of Different Motive Of Higher Education Across The Nature Of Qualification
  Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Acquisition of knowledge, skill and competencies* Degree Between Groups   2.464 4 0.616 1.138 0.339
Within Groups 116.858 216 0.541    
Total 119.321 220      
Better future opportunities* Degree Between Groups (Combined) 2.915 4 0.729 1.195 0.314
Within Groups 131.726 216 0.610    
Total 134.641 220      
Enhancing self efficiency* Degree Between Groups (Combined) 3.953 4 0.988 1.284 0.277
Within Groups 166.190 216 0.769    
Total 170.143 220      
Recognition motives* Degree Between Groups (Combined) 4.327 4 1.082 1.334 0.258
Within Groups 175.157 216 0.811    
Total 179.483 220      
Career prospect* Degree Between Groups (Combined) 6.354 4 1.588 2.868 0.024
Within Groups 119.627 216 0.554    
Total 125.981 220      
Gaining self esteem* Degree Between Groups (Combined) 14.117 4 3.529 1.030 0.393
Within Groups 740.182 216 3.427    
Total 754.299 220      

An attempt was made to assess the degree of association of student’s perception of association of institutional value enhancing their own values across the students aspiring different education. With the help of above table it is clear that tab>cal, i.e., (21.0>8.886) hence null hypothesis is accepted at degree of freedom 12 at 5% level of significance indicating that there is no degree of association of students perception of association of institutional value enhancing their own values across the students aspiring different education (table 8).

Table 8: Association Of Students Perception Regarding Institutional Value Enhancing Their Own Values Across The Different Education
  Value Total
To a great extent To some extent To a considerable extent not at all
Degree Business management 12 9 2 0 23
Graduation 7 3 3 0 13
engineering 13 10 2 1 26
Medical 14 8 8 2 32
Law 7 3 2 0 12
Total 53 33 17 3 106
  Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)    
Pearson Chi-Square 8.886a 12 0.713    

Results & Discussion

The main purpose of this paper was to explore the convergence of motives to pursue higher education from the prospect of aspiring students in India. In relation to preparedness for higher education students positively evaluate the education they received at school and they feel confident in their abilities to initiate their own study and plan their study in an effective manner. (Acquero et al., 2009). The first stage of the analysis has demonstrated the demographic characteristics of the respondents and found that sample is the combination of younger generation respondents having higher energy and strong inspirational values. Results of factor analysis indicates that there are 8 factors namely Acquisition of knowledge, skill and competencies, Better future opportunities, Enhancing self-efficiency, Recognition motives, Career prospect and Gaining self-esteem that motivates them and convergence of these make them strong to go for higher educational courses for better prospect. Society is now placing more importance on higher education than ever before. One way ANOVA result further confirms that Students motives for higher education does not differ significantly across their nature of qualification. Result of chi-square test confirms that there is no association of student’s perception of association of institutional value enhancing their own values across the students aspiring different education. We have observed that majority of the students were of the opinion that Institute’s value enhances their values in the society.

Conclusion

The higher education qualification is an essential starting point. It is crucial to get in touch with what students are looking for and how they want to be educated. All of the findings from this research are important criteria for segmenting and understanding the motives of student aspiring for higher education. The knowledge of motives and their convergence is important for policy maker related to expansion of higher education in the country. These motives act as change agents in transforming the students. It describes needs of effectiveness and new kinds of programmes and courses to deal with increasing student aspirations. New demands are described as having been placed on teachers, students and leadership, including an expanded role for student choices of and in higher education. Finally, this study highlights the convergence of motives of students for pursuing higher education and help in improved planning and more effective policymaking on the part of education in India. Further it is suggested that management should frame their policies that fulfils the students in acquisition of knowledge, skill and competencies, provide better future opportunities, enhancing self-efficiency, provide career prospect and helps students in gaining self-esteem. This will have significant effects on universities as well as on students in meeting their long term goals and fulfilling aspiration values.

References