Investigating Motivation in International Students for getting Admission in the UK
Substantive Focus and Central Question
My research aim was to explore what motivates international students in getting admission to higher education institutions in theUK. Many students try every year to get admission in universities and colleges in theUK. However, not all are successful. My central question is:
What motivates international students to seek admission in theUK?
Background and rationale
The focus of my research was to highlight the factors/reasons regarding the students from other countries preferring to seek admission in institutions especially in theUKwhilst there were many well known and well-recognised universities in other countries. There could be many reasons behind this extreme step of leaving family for studies. One reason might be that English is an international language spoken in theUKand is common in most of the parts of the world. We know, in most of the parts of the world, degrees in theUKare well recognized. Students might think that they could boost the chances of success in later life. With the recognition of degree and chances of success, students must be attracted to the multi-cultural society of theUK. People from different countries live together, respect each other’s traditions and customs. In this multicultural society, foreign students think that they can adapt more easily. There is another possibility that may attract international students is that the family or any member of family who is already settled inUK. Being an international student, I can visualize the position of a newcomer who feels himself or herself as an alien. In this situation, this could be valid reason that a person would prefer a country where his or her any family member is living rather than those countries, which are totally strange and new. Sometimes a person gets inspiration from his or her teacher, national hero, or parents who studied in theUK. For future, this type of research could be helpful to understand the behavior of students coming from different context and countries. These are some reason to give some idea about the background rationale of my study.
To explore why international students seek admission in universities and colleges in theUKat higher education level
Summary of key research questions
The key area of my study can be divided into three main categories. I am going to explain them under the bullet points:
What motivates students to study in theUKas it is showing that it is related to explore the factors that motivate international students to seek admission in theUK. Why they prefer theUKEven there are many other countries other than theUKthat are offering well recognized degrees.
What is international students’ experience while studying in theUKFor depicting broader vision, I discovered international students’ social experience, their pre-arrival expectations by categorizing them fulfilled and unfulfilled.
What differences do international students see in teaching and learning in theUKcompared with their home contextThis was last area of my key focus that was related to the contextual comparison of teaching learning process with theUK. This area of my research identified the comprehensive and solid reasons that why international student seek admission in theUK. They were asked to compare teaching learning process in theUKwith their home countries. It helped to find out the motives more logically and reasonably. These areas were based on the key research question of the research.
Outline of the dissertation
This dissertation has been divided into six chapters. The first chapter contains the introduction of the research that elaborates the substantive focus of the research. It showed the link between the key research questions and rationale of the research. Chapter 2 is related to the critical review of the related literature. Growing body of the literature has the strong link with the central focus of my research. Chapter 3 presented the research methods and research methodology that researcher used in accordance with the title of the research. In this chapter, a methodology review has also given to express why a particular research tools and research methods has been used and how researcher used them for data collection. To sustain the validity and reliability of the research, the researcher adopted multiple data collection tools. In qualitative paradigm, the researcher arranged semi-structured interviews and semi-structured questionnaire. Moreover, to analyse the data, content analysis approach has been used. This chapter has also commented on the ethical consideration defined by British Educational Research Association (BERA 2004, online). Researcher tried to demonstrate complete honesty and loyalty to those people who participated in the research. By giving respect to the privacy and confidentiality, researcher fulfilled the requirement of the objectivity of the research. In chapter 4 the researcher presented the findings in tabular format and analysed the findings by adopting content analysis approach. While analyzing and collected data, the researcher tried to maintain the direction of the dissertation towards the central focus of the study. Analysed finding also demonstrated the link back to the critical review of the related literature. Chapter 5 contains the discussion of the findings of the study that has findings met the demands of central focus of the research and key questions. Chapter 6 kept the conclusion, recommendations and implications of the research. While discussing the major conclusions of the research, researcher tried to demonstrate a comprehensive but brief review and link between substantive focus of the study, review of the related literature, findings and results. Implications dealt with the suggestion for future research. And recommendations were given for other researchers that have been evident from this study.
Review of Literature
In this chapter, a growing body of literature will be reviewed in light of various perceptions about motivation. Moreover, the comprehensive discussion on numerous well-known motivational theories will help out to understand the central focus of study. In addition, it will facilitate to increase understanding the regarding multi dimensional concept of motivation and its models presented by different educationists and psychologists.
Generally, motivation is defined as goal-oriented behaviour. There are number of theories connected with motivation. In the light of academic readings, it has been proven that need or deficiency is very forceful motive that stimulate an individual to perform particular task. Maslow’s Theory of Growth motivation is the most influential theory of motivation. It emphasized on the need as a motive. As Biehler (1974, p.411) says that Maslow’s theory is based on “need gratification” that is essential for every type of development. Maslow defines his theory of growth motivation as a gradual or eventual achievement. He arranges needs like this 1. Physiological, 2. Safety, 3. Love and belongingness and 4. Esteem. He starts from the lower level of needs when satisfied, person feels motivation to satisfy higher level of needs and at the end a new state of motivation starts from the self-actualization. This is the final phase of motivation. In this phase person feels power to be efficient in a joy able way. It is a travel from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation. Biehler (1974, p. 412) states that Maslow categorizes needs into deficiency needs and growth needs. The difference between them two is, first one gives relief and second one gives pleasure. A person wants to get rid of deficiency need (for example hunger) and after having food, will feel relief and will not feel to have more food. But gratification of growth needs produce more thirst and eagerness for growth needs because it gives pleasure and joy. The sample international students could have felt the need to upgrade the social life or the need of well recognized degree or the need to satisfy passion for studying abroad or need to avail good career prospects. These needs are very forceful that could be the possible the motive for the sample international students to seek admission in theUK.
Sapru (2008, p. 222) defines Frederick herzberg’s theory of motivation. It is called Dual factor theory of motivation that has similarities with the Maslow’s theory of motivation. Herzberg gave few more titles to this theory such as motivation-Hygiene theory or satisfier-dissatisfier or two-factor theory. Herzberg describes motivators as factors that increase motivation to achieve goals and satisfy the needs. These factors are quite similar to intrinsic motives for example advancement and recognition. As I have discussed earlier that the sample international student may get motivated by the need to up-grad their professional and personal life. On the other hand hygiene factors make the person dissatisfied and create hurdle to show full potential. In case of discouragement in the international students by any external factor, it will be the dissatisfier of Herzberg’s theory of Motivation. It could be ineffective teaching method or improper library facilities or lack of guidance regarding on going assessment.
Griffinat el. (2010, p. 88,89) explains ERG theory. It is developed by Clayton Alderfer. ERG theory is also inspired by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. ERG stands for:
E: existence needs (necessary for survival food, safety etc)
R: relatedness needs (love and belongingness)
G: growth needs (self-esteem and self actualization)
To uphold the grip on the central focus of the research, the support and base of concrete academic referencing is essential. This theory is making strengthen the previous need theories. Fulfillment of the above given needs accelerates the pace of achieving the learning targets. We can assume that if the need of the sample international students that force them to seek admission in theUKis fulfilled then it would definitely accelerate their performance and creativity in terms of academic and social life.
Borkowski (2011, p. 219,120) explains McClelland’ motivational theory under three major types.
n-Ach: this type of needs motivate the person to achieve targets. It refines and polishes person’s performance and success level
n-Pow: need of power is related to the desire to control others. This can be positive or negative.
n-Aff: need of affiliation and belongingness enhance the interpersonal skills and develop desired social behaviors. McClelland believes that the combination of these needs motivates most of the people. This theory of motivation articulate the Maslow’s theory of needs, Frederick Herzberg’s theory of motivation and ERG theory of motivation in different words.
Koontz at el (2007, p. 293) defines that psychologist Victor H. Vroom presented “The Expectancy Theory of Motivation”. This theory is based on the idea of giving worth to goals. Now I transplant this theory in the education system, if the students understand the importance and worth of output and goals, they will do due effort for the desired target until it is achieved. According to vroom, valence and expectancy multiply the energy to attain the goal. Stronger worth of goal adds more efforts, passion and enthusiasm to achieve the outcomes. In teaching-learning environment, a student do hard work to get desired result by getting motivation from the teacher (valence) and then expect good grades (expectancy) vroom divided his theory into four stages:
Outcome: overall goal
Valence: attractiveness, particular outcome
Instrumentality: perceived relationship between two levels of outcomes
Expectancy: belief or probability that individual will achieve expected goals
In perspective of the focus of the research, this theory of motivation generates some points that could be related to the findings of the study. Generally, all of the international students pay more than double tuition fee from the home students. They assumed all the risk whether it is financial or emotional (leaving family and social life of their home countries). They are supposed to give maximum out put because all of them must be well aware of their objective to seek admission in theUK. On later stage, they may expect in the response of the input for example, the sample students may expect the teaching staff should be more cooperative than they are and they could find the difference in teaching resource in comparison of their home countries. The last stage of the theory can not be explored because we have to wait until the sample students finish their degrees. Then they will be able to tell, whether they achieve their targets or not.
Locke’s goal setting theory (1968) of motivation is quite resembled with Vroom’s theory. Mukherjee (2009, p. 154) explains that conscious goals and intentions influence on the human behavior. Human behaviour is like a mirror that reflects his intentional goals. For example, some students come to college just to enjoy with the friends. This is their intentional goals and their behavior tells clearly about their intentions. Some students come to college to achieve their academic targets, this type of the students spend their time in the library or in the classroom or with the teacher. It shows their intentional targets. One reservation may be possible while studying human behavior, when students set un-realistic and unachievable targets. It creates frustration and anxiety in the students because even many efforts they are failed to achieve. So Teacher should keep the eye on the students if feel anything not normal, through counseling, help the student to identify achievable goal. As in the start of this theory, it is mentioned that this is similar to Vroom’s theory of motivation. Therefore, we can relate it with the discussion that demonstrated the possible relation between key area of the study and the theory. The international students’ possible motive could be their passion for studying abroad or they could have strong desire to get admission in theUKfor the recognition of the degree etc. Therefore we can say that getting admission in theUKshows the international students’ intention as I have discussed it before.
After discussing major theories of motivation, I would like to give some critically reviewed literature about the main types of motivation and general perception of different educationists and psychologist about motivation. Moreover, in the light of behaviourist management practices regarding teaching methods and assessment system would also be elaborated. If we have look at the academic readings, there are two major types of motivation identified. That is intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Both are totally opposite from each other and have their own characteristics. Now I am going to explain the concept and meaning of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Tileston (2004, p.3) explains intrinsic motivation as something comes from inside to stimulate someone to do a specific task. On the completion of task, if the person feels joy and happiness, it is due to intrinsic motivation. The objective of intrinsic motivation is ‘self-accomplishment’. Thomas (2002, p. 246) cited Bruner to explain extrinsic motivation that punishments and reward can develop particular pattern and disciplines in the students but could destroy the creativity of students badly. Whereas, intrinsic motivation makes them creative and gives internal pleasure on the successful completion of the task. This could be a person’s opinion but sometimes extrinsic motivation plays a very vital role regarding the person’s success. An academic reading makes this point more strengthened. Thomas (2002, p. 248) defined the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is always conducive to achieve targets but extrinsic motivation could be very conducive to motivate someone because some people motivate extrinsically and some motivate intrinsically. In perspective of my research, international students demonstrates their creativity even they get motivated extrinsically for example they get admission abroad to upgrade their living and to enhance the career prospects. Generally we don’t work without salary so we demonstrate our innovative performance on extrinsic rewards (salary, promotion, bonuses, medals etc.). So to enhance person’s performance, both extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation contribute and remain impact on person’s personality.
Now some detail will be given to develop the understanding the financial factors that motivates international sample students to seek admission in theUK. For this purpose, a chart will be given having the figure about Gross National Income (GNI) per capita and PPP (Purchasing power parity) per year in international Dollars. And we will be able to compare theUK’s citizen’s year’s salary to the citizens of other sample countries.
Moreover, on the bases of economy, we can classify any country as developed or developing, I figured out ranking because the financial condition counts. Our basic survival needs cannot be gratified without money. Therefore, to understand the motives of international students, it is very necessary to know the economical condition of different sample countries. According to an online resource, the list of different countries on the bases of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita and PPP (Purchasing
power parity) per year in international Dollars distinguishes the developing and developed countries. The detail of those countries is given under, from where my target population is belonging.
RankCountry Country code GNI per capita PPP
139 Pakistan PAK 2,570
137 IndiaIND 2,740
30 SpainESP 30,110
65 LibyaLBY 11,500
27 France FRA 33,470
168 Tanzania TZA 1,200
Compared with United Kingdom
22 United KingdomGBR 34,370
Pakistan,China,India,Tanzania,NigeriaandLibyaare the developing countries. After having look on the above given chart and reference from different academic readings regarding extrinsic motivation, it is possible that students from developing countries may get motivated by external factors. A person comes from the poverty, is normally motivated by external factors. As Tileston (2004, p. 6) says that students who come from poverty, most of the time, are headed toward extrinsic rewards for achieving positive and productive targets and tasks that they do or they want to do. If we have a look on the key areas of the study, it is cleared that the purpose of this study is to explore the sample international students’ personal experiences regarding social and academic life. The above given chart is showing that theUK’s financial condition is strong compared with all sample countries. Moreover, with the factor of finance, in light of the background and rationale of the study, English spoken society could be the motive that forces the sample international students to seek admission in theUK.
About extrinsic motivation, Tileston (2004, p.3) comments that it is something driven from outer surface for example a sticker, a candy, a hug or pat etc. If a student has grown up in that sort of environment that is based on tangible rewards then they cannot be able to feel motivation intrinsically very often. However, this pattern can be broken with the help of class teacher. The constant and steady attempts and persistence of a teacher can bring student from the extrinsic motivation towards the intrinsic motivation. to achieve this target, teacher can change his/her teaching approach and by starting to skip the tangible rewards gradually, a stage will come when student will feel joy and happiness in learning new things and do the assignments for inner satisfaction. In the perspective of this study, an international student could be motivated by the family member who has already settled in theUKbut it may be possible that on later stage, the student starts to feel joy and internal happiness after completion of the degree. It has been acknowledged academically that theUKis using modern teaching techniques that transform the holistic personality of the students in the positive side.
Furthermore, Tileston (2004), p.5) tries to develop in-depth, understanding about extrinsic motivation, for that we need to comprehend the difference between ‘reward’ and ‘celebration’. In the author’s viewpoint, if a teacher says, I will give you a candy on successful completion of the task or if you finish your assignment on time, you can watch television for one hour extra. In this situation, students will complete the task for expected reward not for learning or something like that. In another situation, the teacher gives candy or any tangible reward on successful completion of task. That reward is unexpected. Because students do not know about the reward that they get after finishing assignment, this is celebration. Teacher can develop intrinsic motivation by using celebration rather than rewards. As I have discussed about the sample of international students that they could move from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation through creative teaching strategies and reflective practice. Before getting admission in theUK, the sample international students would have the idea that what type of the reward they will be given after completion their degrees that is reward and on the other hand after completion of the degree they might get the unexpected rewards in form of profession maturity or promotion etc. it is celebration. Therefore, most probably the sample international students may move from rewards to celebrations.
After having idea about the motivation and its major types, and few famous theories of motivation, the multidimensional aspects of motivation with its complexity and density would be explained with the reference of academic readings. I would try to relate the key areas of the research with the different concepts of motivation which will be emerged in the different definitions of the motivation.
Mackay (2007, p. 19) defines motivation as something conflicting and complex to understand. Because on one hand, it is demonstrating that motivation can be something or someone because sometimes a person persuade someone else to perform in a certain way. At the same time a person can use something to force a person to act in a particular way. Therefore, if we go with this definition, we have to believe that motive can be a person or thing. Moreover, Mackay (2007, p.194) shows another aspect of motivation. According to him, motivation is always intentional and under control of the person. To develop the link of this definition to the major focus of the research, I would try to be more critical. The purpose of the study is to explore motives that force the sample international students to get admission in theUK. The sample international students are studying at the higher level and logically, they must have sense to make decisions. Therefore it is possible that they have chosen theUKby choice. In a classroom context, behavior of the students towards attentiveness, attendance, participation in the classroom activities, and cooperation and coordination with peers and teachers, everything is influenced by motivation. They intentionally try to keep and follow the discipline.
Wiseman at el. (2008, p.43) says that motivation can be defined as an internal state that forces the students to achieve specific targets by focusing on a desired direction. This internal force arouses students’ persistence and enthusiasm towards the goals. In terms of internal force or self energy to perform duties, sometimes a person feels strong stimulation towards particular target. This force is motivation that needs appropriate guideline and mentoring about desired and required direction. Blairs at el. (1952, p.166) say that every human has force/energy to cope up with rigidity and softness of the life. In teaching and learning perspective, if these forces focused onto right the direction and under control, it generates highly intelligent and learning behaviour that is essential to attain and accomplish the targets. And by developing motivation, this force can be under controlled and determined towards the target. Then the learning out comes can be multiplied. In all this process, role of teacher is very important and influential. Teachers can enhance the human energies and enthusiasm to enlighten and strengthen the teaching and learning process by motivating students. A similar point is made by Piaget,Furth cited Piaget (1970, p. 73) that motivation supplies energy to achieve targets.
Another dimension discovered by Beard (1980, p.3), where he cited Bruner (1966) about motivation. He thinks motivation comes from inside of the person that generates its sources and rewards “in its own exercise”. The task it self is reward for the person. He does not need to be motivated externally. The phase of intrinsic motivation could be started from the extrinsic motivation but experiences or the teacher takes the person to the higher stage of motivation that Beard (1980, p.3) is trying to elaborate. Moreover, Beard (1980, p.20) points out the factors that make students successful at higher education level. In light of recent researches, he explored few motives such as method of instruction, expectation of courses and teacher. At a higher level of education, most of the time, students get motivated by courses and teachers. In the perspective of the teachers’ role, Beard says (1980, p.54, 55) that teaching methods motivate students and “no teaching method is effective and ineffective”. All teaching method can be used well and poorly at the same time. Beard (1980, p. 57) furthermore explains that the experience in the classroom in which learning takes place, at any time motivation can be enhanced and the consequential learning can be reached at its maximum. Later on, I will discuss the contextual comparison about the teaching methods that have been adopted in the sample countries and in theUK. At higher level of education, it is more than possible that the sample international students got motivated by the modern teaching techniques adopted in the classrooms of theUK. Therefore, the teaching method can be the powerful motive that fascinated international students to seek admission in theUK.
Moreover, by defining the strength of motivation, Beard (1980, p.20) says that the number of investigations has shown that success and intelligence are not correlated. “Highly selected population of British sixth forms and colleges students who do well are usually no more intelligent on average than those who do poorly.” The distinction between these two different type of the group of the students, is motivation. Motivation is that powerful phenomenon that can make poor, an average and an average can perform as above average. In absence of motivation, situation could be reversed.
Another dimension is explored by Amesat el. (1984, p.81). They elaborate motivation as “self perception of competency”. In context of classroom, self-perception becomes the central demonstration to achieve the targets for example if students think they are good and they can achieve then they will whereas if they think negative about their potentials they will never achieve. Author calls it “self-worth-motive.” In the perspective of major focus of the study, it is possible that the sample international students got confidence on their internal force. This could be the possible motive.
Another author explains similar aspect of motivation but in different words. Gilbert (2002, p.165) uses word of “Hope” for motivation. According to him, hope changes human minds and brains. Hope helps to heal the patient up from any physical disease, whereas hopeless person feels himself frustrated, depressed and physically ill. In professional and learning paradigm, it gives success. So writer emphasized on “teach optimism”. This definition is making more strengthened the previous definition of the motivation.
Motivation can be defined as a deficiency. It persuades a person to fulfill the deficiency. As Mackay (2007, p. 21) states that motivation can be defined as a “deficiency”. For example, when a person feels hunger, this strong need force him to cook or buy food. Therefore hunger is motive. The findings may show that sample international students had the need of better career prospects and to fulfill this need they decided to leave their home country for studies.
The Reinforcement to enhance the performance is essential. In perspective of external motivation, Beard (1980, p.3) says that reinforcement in particular situation increase the level of responding. Therefore, motivation is not possible without reinforcement. He cited Lewis (1952) that” learning feeds on success”. If teachers or parents discourage the students by saying them lazy and dull, in that situation, students would be de-motivated (similar to self-worth-motive or self-perception), does not matter what age of the student is. Lewis believes on extrinsic motivation because action necessitates for success. And motivation is like enjoying in attaining the targets, task and success.
Through this study I am trying to develop understanding about the possible motives that compel the international students to get admission in theUK. We can assume that a very influential motive could be modern strategies of classroom management in theUK. And in most of the sample developing countries, behaviourist practices (traditional teaching method, summative assessment and seating arrangement in the rows) are adopted in a forceful way. AsFontana(1984, p.15) says that good social behavior in the classroom generates good learning. To some extend, we can agree with the writer. If a student’s interpersonal skills are high then he can learn from his peers. In context of modern teaching strategy, positive social behavior in the classroom has a fundamental role to play in achieving the targets of cooperative learning.
To understand the perspective of behaviourists in context of the central focus of my study., we need to have a look on some contextual comparison of sample countries with theUK. As the research’s focus is to explore the views of international students about the difference in teaching and learning process in theUKcompared their home countries.Pakistan’s teaching learning system, Siddiqui (2010, online) says that in the most of the mainstream schools inPakistan, teachers use behaviorist approach in teaching, because it is easy to use. In passive teaching and learning process, teachers tell and transmit. Students drill or reproduce information without making sense or understanding and get good grades. According to the writer, this approach is not effective to achieve broader goals such as socio-economic development, social justice and individual freedom. Writer draws a very clear portrait of teaching and learning process. In this modern era of education, teachers inPakistanstill stick to use traditional strategies of teaching. Now the question is why do teachers not change their typical teaching pattern. Siddidqui (2009, online) highlights few but very strong reasons. He says that inPakistanteachers are given training but rely on very closed and confined way. Teachers are supposed to consume knowledge and in the name of teacher training and they are given some strategies and technique to use in their teaching practice. But there is no space of teacher’s own reflection/personality and creativity in teaching. This brief comparison rose very thought provoking reason that why teachers inPakistanusing behaviorist approach in teaching unlike theUK. If we have, a look on thePakistan’s teaching and learning pattern, another reason emerged that is the large number of students in the classroom. This is impossible for the teacher to use group-learning techniques. Therefore, we cannot blame the teachers and teacher training courses only for this curable hurdle in developing the cooperative teaching-learning in the classrooms ofPakistan. If any teacher who wants to adopt child centered teaching techniques but the large number of the students in the classroom becomes the hurdle in cooperative teaching in the classrooms. According to the some of the above given academic references, it is obvious that at higher level, student may have the motivation and attraction by effective and modern teaching techniques. Moreover, I would give the example of few other developing countries that use traditional teaching methods. In contextual comparison, Harber (2002, p. 50, 51) gives the example ofChina,TanzaniaandNigeriathat adopt old teaching strategies in the classrooms. In teacher dominating classrooms, students sit passively and listen the teacher. Through lecture method, recall of factual knowledge is the basic responsibility of whole teaching and learning process. The schoolwork is limited to the textbooks, notebooks and workbooks. In the classrooms of these countries teachers are supposed to be the center of the class with all authority. The main reason of adopting traditional teaching strategies is that schools are more concern with the number of students in the classroom and recall of factual knowledge by using lecture method. And this is the ideal and easy tactic to handle large number of students with minimum expenditure. Now I would give some idea about the teaching and learning environment created in theUK’s schools. Loh (2006, online) says that inUK,USA,Australia, andNew Zealand, Schools adopt humanistic approach of teaching and learning. In child-centered classrooms, students work in-group by using cooperative learning techniques. They explore new things and solve the problems with cooperation and pleasure. Teachers are supposed to play the role of assistant, instructor, advisor and counselor with innovative and new teaching techniques. Rehman (2004, p.200) also explains that in the developed countries like the UK and USA etc use modern teaching techniques with the help of films, video tapes and CCTV. Peer supervision has also got a very important place in those countries. Now I would give a precise comparison of assessment system adopted in the developing countries with theUK. In most of the traditional education system summative assessment is adopted. Dove (1986, p.70) says that most of the teachers are known to assess the students at the end/termination of the term. The purpose of summative assessment is to evaluate that what the students has learnt during the whole term. According to Pollard (2002, p. 283) summative assessment is different from formative assessment. Formative assessment refers to evaluate students for particular time and it is ongoing evaluation. The quality of student’s learning is directly influenced by the formative assessment. But the purpose of summative assessment is to sum up the whole semester at the end of the term. It helps teachers to evaluate the students’ learning of the whole academic year. It is more concerned with the level of achievement of the student at various points when they quit or while they are in their schooling. Formative assessment gives importance to the students and teachers’ reflection. As Suskie (2009) tells about the importance of reflection that it helps teacher and students to assess attitudes, behaviour and values in qualitative way. Reflection enables students to learn in the best way with comprehensive awareness about what they have learnt so far. Siddiqui (2011, online) is showing opposite situation of reflection based assessment system. He says that inPakistan, transmission method of teaching, memory based assessment system and unattractive textbooks are the salient features of most of the main stream schools. For fulfilling the dream of development, we need a revolutionary change in the system of education. Moreover, Siddiqui (2011, online) explains the reasons that why the education system ofPakistanis traditional. According to him, since the day of independence,Pakistanhas been ruled by the Feudal Lords and authoritarians. Lack of true democracy in politics generates authority and dominance in every field of country even in the field of education. Memory based assessment system and transmission teaching methods are the outcomes of authoritarian governments. The solution of this problem is true democracy in thePakistan. Now, in light of different academic readings, I would comment on the assessment system that is used in the developed countries especially in theUK. OECD (2006, p.135) says that in most of the OECD (organization for economic cooperation and development) (including theUK) teachers emphasis on the formative assessment. In these countries, for teachers, the motto of assessment is “assess to learn”. Teachers use formative assessment method by reviewing current and modern assessment tools. Formative assessment is the most comprehensive and imperative way to increase student learning in the proper direction. Similar point rose by Scott (2001, p. 43). He says that in the England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA formative assessment has become the most integral and popular practice of the teaching. It has been successfully in practice in these countries because it is effective to evaluate the holistic personality of the students. It is most helpful phenomenon for teachers and students to get the appropriate direction towards their targets. Now I would give some critical review about the seating arrangement in the schools ofPakistan. Ahmad (online) has discovered in his research that in the most of the schools of thePakistan, seats are arranged in the rows. And this seating arrangement supports the traditional teaching practice. As siddiqui (2010, online) says that visible features like seating arrangement, classroom condition and comfortable seats play a very critical and important role in the success of teaching method and school both. So this brief contextual comparison can show possible reason that why international students seek admission in theUK.
Motivation has been discussed in relation to intrinsic and extrinsic approaches. It is possible that the international students are both extrinsically motivated to gain better position and career prospects and intrinsically motivated to improve their professional practices. Presentation of different approaches of motivation and brief comparison of teaching-learning process of the sample countries with theUKgive a comprehensive picture of possible motives that compel the international students to study in theUK. A review of literature about the differences in teaching methods, assessment system and the visible condition of the classrooms in theUKcompared with their home countries.
This chapter has reviewed the literature containing conceptual understanding about motivation and its major types with different motivational models. It is evident in the light of different academic readings that there is no unified or single definition of motivation. It is multifaceted and complex phenomena defined by different educationists and psychologists. Like definition of motivation, there is no single theory on motivation that can explain it with all its depth and aspects. Therefore, multiple definitions and theories of motivation have been reviewed in this chapter. These theories and definitions of motivation would be helpful to understand the multiple motives that force the sample international students to get admission in theUK. Through this reviewed related literature, the researcher tried to present the possible holistic picture of the sample international students’ social and educational experience before and after getting admission in theUK. A growing body of literature has demonstrated that a comprehensive contextual comparison of teaching and learning process that could be worthy to understand the sample international students’ perception about the comparison of different teaching and learning aspect(teaching methods, assessment type etc) between the UK and their home countries. By the help of reviewed literature, the main focus of the research would be elaborated and would be easy to understand the motivation in international students regarding getting admission specifically in theUK. Related literature has showed that the financial condition of the sample students’ home countries. Emotional attraction and belongingness or passion for studying abroad and effective teaching strategies and modern assessment system may be the possible motives of sample international students that force them to seek admission in theUK. This chapter will lead to presentation of findings that has been assembled on the base of the research questions.
In this chapter, the researcher presents key research questions and then defines the suitable research methods and research techniques to collect data with maximum variation.
Key research questions
What motivates students to study in theUK
What is their experience while studying in theUK
What differences do international students see in teaching and learning in theUKcompared with their home context
Research methods and methodology review
For fulfilling the requirement of triangulation in research and to maintain the reliability and validity of research, I collected the information through quantitative and qualitative research techniques.
Mainly my aim was to develop in depth understanding of human behaviour. And qualitative research method provided me the opportunity to gather and explore the motives in precise way. Ereaut (2007, online) defines qualitative research that it is used to develop in-depth understanding about peoples’ behaviour, attitude, systems, culture, lifestyle, motivation, concern and values. And the aim of my study was to study closely the attitude of defined group of study about particular subject. Similar view was presented by Merriam (2009, p. 1) about qualitative research method, she says that the objective of qualitative method is to develop insightful understanding about different perceptions and researcher tried to discover the variety of aspects of everyday exercises of people’s lives. It is a systematic, well-organized process of collecting information. This process gives more knowledge about something than before this process we know. Merriam (2009, p. 5) says that qualitative research makes the researcher able to know the way people elaborate and define their experiences. Through qualitative research, we know how people build up their world and in what way, they learn from their experiences. Marshall at el. (2011, p.1) says that the qualitative research method enables researcher to do discovery and inquiry for social sciences and applied fields such as education, regional planning, social work and community development. Thomas (2003, p. 1) defined qualitative research as a tool which engages researcher to interpret and define characteristics of people’s life. Moreover, qualitative research approach analyses holistically and contextually and permits the researcher to explore and discover new things as my research was supposed to do. Therefore, I adopted qualitative research method and I tried to be more critical and neutral as qualitative research demands for.
Stake (2010, p. 11) describes quantitative research as similar to science. Science gives us facts and does not add or remove anything on the bases of perception and quantitative research performs in the same way as science does. Therefore, scientific research relies on quantitative research such as measurement and statistical analysis. Muijs (2011, p.1) cited Aliaga and Gunderson (2000) to explain quantitative research and they say that quantitative research is something which elaborates and explains phenomena through numerical form. Normally, mathematical methods are used to analyse the numerical data (in particular statistics). Thomas (2003, p. 1) describes that quantitative research is more concerned to be more concentrated and attentive on measurements and amounts such as “more or less, larger or smaller, often or seldom, similar or different.” Quantitative research gives the conclusions straightforward. And in my study I was needed to explore the reasons and it is demanded to be more focused and straightforward. Therefore, I would use the blend of qualitative and quantitative research.
I collected my data through multiple research techniques to make sure the validity of my research. Questionnaire technique is more likely used in quantitative paradigm. I had prepared a semi-structured questionnaire. Morse at el. (2002, p. 76) says that semi-structured questionnaire permits the freedom to the participants to explain the asked situation in their own words. My study was supposed to identify and to explore the hidden area or un-described area of my sample population. Therefore, for fulfilling the objective of my research, the most appropriate source of collecting data was using a semi-structured questionnaire. A structured questionnaire might not allow me to be insightful. And structured questionnaire is meant to be inflexible and straightforward. Bechhofer at el. (2000, p. 72) defines a structured questionnaire as a suitable tool for a large-scale survey research. Another tool, I used to gather data was a semi-structured interview. Morse (2002, p.76) tries to show the positive aspect of semi-structured interview. It allowed researcher to adopt conversational tone while interviewing. And it helped researcher to pick the relevant matter up whilst interviewee is talking, telling stories and describing experiences.
Mainly my aim was to develop in-depth understanding of human behavior. And qualitative research method provided me with the opportunity to gather and explore the motives in a precise way. A good semi-structured questionnaire does not confuse participants by asking multiple questions in one question. Each question should deals only one aspect of the topic. Arksey at el. (2007, p. 172) explains the difference between structured and semi structured interviews. They say that a structured interview is based on standardized questionnaire with easy and straightforward questions. Researcher reads out the questions to the interview/respondent. And respondent is supposed to give answer precisely. Whereas semi structured interview is highly favorable if researcher’s aim is to explore in depth information about particular aspect. It contains the questions with ‘how’ and ‘why’. The semi-structured interviews are more flexible compared with structured interviews. For example, if the researcher needs to know straightforward information such as whether students live at home or in residences, through structured questions researcher can easily have the answers of this type of questions. However, if a researcher wants to know whether the students feel ‘at home’ on campus. The answer of this type of questions needs flexibility in the questions. My research demands to explore my sample’s minds. For example while exploring the reasons of getting admission in the UK even they had to leave their home country and family. So I arranged the semi structured interviews to gather information about framework of themes. I set my questions by following the criteria of semi structured interviews. Therefore, semi structured interviews were more appropriate. Cohen at el. (2007, p. 133,146) defines the validity and reliability in the research. According to authors using different data collecting devices called validity in the research. In qualitative research, some other things are also essential to make the data valid, for example, “honesty, depth, richness, scope of data achieved the extent of triangulation and objectivity of research”. We call a research reliable when we get similar data from similar respondents by using different data collection tools. The researcher used multiple research technique like questionnaire and semi structured interviews to make the data valid and reliable.
Description of population and sample
The samples were from international students from different parts of the world. They were studying in different universities and colleges of theUK. Some of them were known and some were unknown to the researcher. One Student from each country (Nigeria,France,Spain,India,Libya, andChina) was selected as a sample. Two students were selected fromPakistanbecause both students belong to the entirely different part of thePakistanand went through the different circumstances inPakistan. And findings showed that these circumstances changed the perception about leaving the home country for studies. Samples were selected from the people I knew. The student fromIndiawas studying in the college rest of all sample students were studying in the different universities of theUK.
To analyze survey research, I displayed the data in tables. And in context of qualitative research, I adopted content analysis method to analyse the findings.
I considered the ethical boundaries defined by British Educational Research Association (BERA 2004, online). By keeping identity of my sample population confidential and anonymous, I tried to explore the facts regarding my substantive focus.
Cohen at el. (2007, p.141) explains triangulation as a blend of data collection techniques. When a researcher uses two or more methods to gather data in the study of some aspect of human behavior called triangulation in the research. In my research, I used quantitative and qualitative research techniques to fulfill the requirement of triangulation.
This chapter starts from the key questions and then argued the research method and techniques to explore the answer of those questions. The research title shows that qualitative research is more suitable and adaptive for this study because this study is required to develop in depth understanding regarding human behavior towards particular direction. And for fulfilling the requirement of triangulation, data was collected through qualitative and quantitative techniques. Moreover, it reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of different data collection techniques that how they were helpful to collect reliable and valid data. This chapter also discusses the specific data analysis approach. The ethical boundaries defined by BERA has been considered at the front position to make sure the intellectual truthfulness and cohesiveness of the study. Then to make the data valid and reliable, samples were given questionnaire and then interviewed.
Presentation of Findings
This chapter will present the findings collected by two data tools questionnaire and interviews. Both tools were used to gather information from the same samples with same question to make sure the data is valid and reliable. The findings were analyzed by using tabular format. Moreover, a comprehensive discussion about the results in relation to key will be included in this chapter to make the link between results and key questions.
Table 1: General opinion about leaving home for studies
Note: refer back to original questionnaire in the appendices B.
statementsNames of the Countries
Of Degree13 111111
2.Economy of the Country of Prospect Institution31 324333
3.Better prospects after completion of the degree24 433224
4.A relative who is settled in that country, a person is going for studies42 242442
5.Other reasons War
Table 1 shows that response to the question on students’ general opinion about leaving
home country for studies, most of the students said recognition of degree could be the
strong reason. A relative who is already settled in that country, a person is going for
studies, this reason comes at second position. The reason on third position was economy
of the prospect’s country. Most of the students set the option of better prospects at fourth
position. On student gave unique answer that the reason could be war that destroys
education system then person has no option left to leave home land for studies. If we
have a look on the central focus of the research and key research questions, the above
table is showing a strong link with that. General opinion about reason of leaving home
country could be recognition of the degree. In later table, the findings have shown that
this is actually a strong reason and motive that force international students to leave their
home countries for studies.
Table 2: Names of the Countries other than the UK, respondents would consider for further studies
Serial No.Names of the countriesNames of the desired countries for studies other than the UK
1.Pakistan (university student)USAGermanyCanada
2.Tanzania (university student)CanadaAustralia USA
3.Pakistan(northern area) (university student)Saudi ArabiaEgypt
4.China (university student)AustraliaCanadaUSA
7.Nigeria (university student)USANorway Canada
8.India (college student)USA AustraliaGermany
9.Libya (university student)AustraliaCanadaPakistan
In table 2 Countries in order of favorite
the response to the question on respondents’ choice about the countries for further studies
other than theUK, 7 students said that they might selectUSA, 6 respondents chosen
Canada, 5 students’ choice wasAustraliaandGermanyis on fourth number by getting 3
votes. WhereasSaudi Arabia,PakistanandNorwaywere at the same level by getting 1
vote. Table 2 clearly shows that respondents’ option was in favor ofUSA,Canada, and
Australiarespectively. The purpose of this question was to explore students opionion
about their favourite coutries other than theUKfor studies. It was really important to
know their opinion about that because I could help us to understand the motives to select
theUKfor studies even there are many other countries that are offering well recognized
Table 3: Reasons why respondents selected the UK for further studies
Serial No.Names of the countries1st 2nd 3rd
1.Pakistan (university student)Better facilitiesMore opportunitiesBetter future
2.Tanzania (university student)Better futureBetter facilitiesMore opportunities
3.Pakistan(northern area) (university student)Education system has been defected because of war so left the country
4.China (university student)Recognition of degreeMulticultural society Weather
5.Spain(university student)Multicultural societyBetter education and future
6.France(university student)Friend settled in theUKGood instituteWanted to learn English language
7.Nigeria (university student)Recognition of degreeBetter careerMulticultural society