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What motivates an ever increasing numbers of students to enroll in part-time taught postgraduate awards?


Ho, A and Kember, D and Hong, C, What motivates an ever increasing numbers of students to enroll in part-time taught postgraduate awards?, Studies in Continuing Education, 34, (3) pp. 319-338. ISSN 0158-037X (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Taylor and Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/0158037X.2011.646979


There has been a substantial rise in the number of students enrolling in part-time taught postgraduate awards. This study investigates the reasons or motivation for students to spend significant amounts on tutorial fees and find time alongside work, family and social commitments to take a taught postgraduate award. Data were gathered through interviews with 21 part-time students in taught postgraduate programmes in Hong Kong. Students all held several motives for studying, so the outcome was a framework for explaining multiple interacting motives. Main categories of motivation were related to qualifications, current career, potential future career, interest, perpetual students and professional and social networks. Individual students displayed varying degrees of these motivations and the sub-categories of them. Students were able to specify their needs in terms of advanced specialised study, so enrolment satisfied a need for continuing professional development. The rise in taught postgraduate enrolments, in search of advanced specialised knowledge, seems set to continue as undergraduate degrees become broader and more attribute-oriented and the knowledge explosion makes it harder to reach the frontiers of knowledge.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mass higher education, motivation, part-time study, reason for enrolment, taught postgraduate awards
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Higher education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Learner and learning not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Kember, D (Professor David Kember)
ID Code:84490
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2013-05-15
Last Modified:2018-04-05

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