An investigation into the push and pull factors that influenced students’ decision to study at Glasgow University
The student intake at the University of Glasgow has increased from 23,310 to 26,550 from 2006-2011 (HESA, 2011), indicating a positively inclined student decision to study at the university. The decision making process is a complex process made by the student intentionally or unintentionally (Moogan and Baron, 2003). This process is stimulated by “Push” factors related to home country and “Pull” factors related to host country (Mazzoral and Soutar, 2002). In order to understand the student market, it is necessary to have knowledge of student choice and decision making process (Vaira, 2004). Also it is essential to apprehend factors influencing student purchase aims and comprehend the connection among the factors (Cubillo, 2006). Unluckily, at present there is inadequate information about the factors influencing student decision specific to the University of Glasgow and besides that there is little research done on factors influencing local student decision. Therefore the intent of this research is to investigate into the factors influencing students’ decision to study at the University of Glasgow. This research will incorporate studies by Briggs (2006); Mazzoral and Soutar (2002); Maringe (2006) and Maringe and Carter (2007), which will provide a foundation for the research. This paper will analyse the significance of student decision making to consumer behaviour and choice. It will further examine the different factors that influence the student decision and categorise them into push and pull factors. Finally conclusions will be made by reviewing the main themes and associate them to the present study. Decision Making Process
The process of decision making for students who want to enter into higher education is a complicate and a multistage process, which requires the problem of choice of destination and programme to be solved (Cubillo, Sanchez and Cervino, 2006). In the field of Business and commerce, the area of decision making is of great importance and thus it has developed the growth of Consumer Behaviour Theory (Gabbott and Hogg, 1994; Crozier and McClean, 1997). Relating the Consumer Behaviour Theory to education by Chapman (1986) and Moogan et al (1999) have been acknowledged for this. Demonstrated by Kolter (2003) the process of decision making is a rational one and can be generalised and foreseen as a five level process, which includes recognition of the problem; hunt for information; assessing alternatives; making the buying judgement and analysing the buying decision. According to Maringe and Carter (2007), specific to higher education, the process of decision making about education and employment includes the following: Pre search manners which involve initial and occasional inactive prospects about future progression, active search manner comprises of options which are preferred and short listed, application stage is associated with submission of application, making the choice i.e. accepting or declining the offer and lastly the post acceptance manner where the students evaluate their decision to be correct or incorrect. Maringe (2006) in his study shows that, the students while making a decision regarding their higher education are adopting a consumerist approach However, Solomon (2002) revealed that the decision making process which is considered to be a rational and sequential process is sometimes affected by chance factors, emotions and judgement and there by destroying the rationality assumption which is very important to decision making. Thus the above studies are relevant to the research as they help comprehend the aspects of student decision from a perspective of a consumer using the consumer behaviour theory, which can help provide an insight to the factors affecting the decision. Choice is another concept affiliated with decision making, as...
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