The influence of the part time study experience on the development of generic capabilities
Leung, DYP and Kember, D, The influence of the part time study experience on the development of generic capabilities, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 29, (2) pp. 91-101. ISSN 0309-877X (2006) [Refereed Article]
An examination of the literature suggests that universities play a part in developing generic capabilities needed nowadays for societies, through immersing students in a stimulating campus environment. Part time students, though, spend less time on campus than their full time counterparts, and far less time than on‐campus residents, so could be expected to experience a less rich study environment. It might, therefore, be questioned whether there is a mechanism by which universities can influence to any great extent the development of these capabilities in part time students. The aim of this study was to determine the mechanism by which the study environment influences the development of eight qualities for part time students. An instrument was developed to seek the perceptions of the development of the eight capabilities and of eight variables identified as important elements in the part time study environment. The sample consisted of 1149 graduates from part time programmes of one university in Hong Kong. The inter‐relationship of the 16 scales was then examined through a three‐step procedure by utilizing structural equation modeling. The result showed that there were a number of significant paths between factors on the study environment side of the model and latent factors linking the eight capabilities. The resulting model showed that there were viable mechanisms by which the part time study environment can influence the development of these generic capabilities through the establishment of relationships between staff and students and between student peers, and through producing an atmosphere conducive to interaction in part time study.