Enrolment in Higher Education
University plays a very significant role in a student’s life and is an event that instills lifelong values in learners. Today, many young people enter university in order to excel in the work force and establish a rewarding career of their choice. The job market is extremely competitive and skilled employees are high in demand, making degrees a requirement for a wide range of careers. The fact that the number of internationally recognized universities is continuously increasing in the UAE and that many of them offer similar programmes only fuels the competitiveness of high-quality work placements. This article is an attempt to better understand the factors that influence the choices students make while choosing their higher education options.
‘Going to college’, ‘college enrolment’, ‘access to college’, ‘college choice’ and
‘choosing a college’ are some of the terminologies used in the research literature to discuss the different factors that influence a student’s choice of higher education. There are several studies about the subject since 1970’s when sociologists wanted to understand the complexity of decision making and studied higher education choice as an example. In the 1980s and 1990s, there was an increase in the number of competitive higher education institutions which led economists and higher education institutions to further investigate the issue.
Forces that impact the enrollment in higher education
In practice, there are several factors that influence enrollment rate. Some of the most relevant factors are:
In most of the developed countries the social expectation to complete school and pursue higher education is high and continues rising. A very significant role is played by the family in choosing the student’s education and career. Numerous studies have found that college students and young adults quote parents as an important influence on the choices that they make. Further research has found that students are mostly influenced by their parents’ education level, social-financial position, culture and mentality. Expectation usually comes from the perceived benefits that the student can obtain from an academic qualification, fluency in a foreign language, life experience and even competition among family members.
Students’ background and Personal Attributes
Important student related factors such as high school performance, self-image, attainability, preference and course desirability are some of the main attributes that play a significant role in college decision making. Data has proved that gender, age, race and socio-economic background are some of the student factors that work behind the choice. Previous studies on choosing an institution have explored that ‘personal preference was the most influential factor in university selection’.
Academic elements such as teaching quality, teachers’ qualifications, quality of the curriculum, medium of instruction, reputation and prestige are all significant factors that influence the student’s educational decisions. Recognition and reputation are the catalysts for the selection of higher educational institution.
Environment and Facilities
Environment and surroundings are an yet another parameter that is considered important in decision-making of an institution. Variables that have the most influence are campus location and proximity, convenience, infrastructure, transport facility, campus life and accommodation. Exchange programmes with foreign universities, job placements and the availability of part-time jobs are the second set of variables. An institution needs to focus on curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in order to provide holistic education to the students and make it more attractive to potential learners.
At UKCBC, we believe it is very important to work towards improving all of these factors in an effort to help students find our institution as well as the correct programme for their needs and interests. Our admissions team ensures that your enrolment into our courses is done as smoothly as possible and assist students in every step. If you would like to learn more about our courses, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by dialing +971 4 871 5333.
Dr. Tajwar Hussaini is a highly skilled Business Programme Leader for UKCBC – Dubai Campus. With nine years of varied teaching experience, she likes to encourage creativity and higher-order thinking during her lessons to increase student performance and personal growth.