Factors Influencing Decisions to Study Overseas

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FACTORS INFLUENCING PAKISTANI STUDENTS’ DECISION TO PURSUE POST GRADUATE STUDIES AT FOREIGN UNIVERSITIES

By

Mariam Jabeen

A Research Paper submitted to the Faculty of the Lahore School of Economics in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for a Bachelors Degree Program in Finance & Marketing

Lahore School of Economics

2012

FACTORS INFLUENCING PAKISTANI STUDENTS’ DECISION TO PURSUE POST GRADUATE STUDIES AT FOREIGN UNIVERSITIES

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the decision making process the Pakistani students go though while deciding to go abroad for higher studies and the extent to which personal factors, external push-pull factors and the friends and family influence impacts their decision.

Primary research has been conducted with a target sample of 45 survey questionnaires and 5 interviews. Respondents included those people who had acquired foreign degrees. It was concluded that personal motivation factors significantly influenced the decision to go abroad while other factors also had an impact. ANOVA Analysis revealed a significant relation between independent and dependant variables.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank my school, Lahore School of Economics for giving me an opportunity to conduct this research, my instructor Feryal Khan whose continuous guidance enabled me to write this paper and lastly my family and friends who have supported me through the completion of this research paper.

Table of Contents

Abstract2
Acknowledgements3
Introduction5
Literature Review6
Research Questions and Objectives15
Theoretical Framework16
Hypotheses19
Methodology20
Instrumentation21
Survey Findings23
Profile of Respondents23
Results and Analysis26
Testing significance27
Table A: Hypothesis Testing27
Table B: Determinants of decision to study abroad30
Interview Findings32
Implications34
Conclusion and Recommendations34
References35
Appendices37
Appendix A - Survey Questionnaire38
Interview Schedule41

Introduction

Past few decades have witnessed massive inflow and outflow of students in order to acquire foreign higher education. International education and the international mobility of students can be traced back to ancient times, as early as 600 BC in India (Chen, 2007). Since the late 1990s the higher education market is growing by 7 percent a year. (Kaul, 2006).The trend is not only common in Western world but Asian students also constitute a major proportion of international students in foreign universities. This Asian market continues to be a major one (Gatfield & Hyde, 2005). The existence of world class institutes in UK and USA make them most preferred destinations for students. The prominent education exporting countries (those which sell education to international student) include USA, UK, Canada and Australia while the education importing countries (those which buy education from foreign universities) include East Asian Tigers, China, India and Pakistan. Due to increasing trend of foreign education, the competition amongst the education exporting countries is also becoming intense and thus they pursue better marketing efforts in order to attract foreign students.

Pakistan’s service sector has grown substantially in past decade and requires major human capital in order to sustain efficient growth. A skilled workforce is a key to successful operations of any business. The development of sectors like information technology, financial sector and the establishment of multinational corporations require educated personnel. Therefore an educated and highly skilled human capital is a prerequisite for a developing country like Pakistan to enable economic growth.

In Pakistan, there are a handful of universities offering post-graduate programs. The disciplines offered are not much diverse and the numbers of seats are also limited. Research facilities for doctoral studies are also not as advanced as in world...
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