Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin, 2018, No.3, pp.124-138
UDC: 
378

Investigating the factors influencing university choice for international students (with the main focus on a Russian regional university)

Salosina I. V. 1 (Tomsk, Russian Federation), Ohorzina J. O. 1 (Tomsk, Russian Federation)
1 Tomsk Polytechnic University
Abstract: 

Introduction. The article focuses on approaches to analyze, describe and rank the reasons behind the choice of regional higher educational institutions by international students. The aim of the study is to reveal the motives for choosing a regional university in the Siberian part of the Russian Federation by international students.
Materials and Methods. The main research technique was a semi-structured interview. The questionnaire was developed using Maslow's hierarchy of needs and motivators to choose the region of education presented in studies of Syed Zamberi Ahmad, Frederick Robert Buchanan, etc.
Results. The authors attempted to identify how international students choose regional higher education institutions. Significant factors contributing to choosing Tomsk are the following: safety of living and learning environments, interpersonal and cross-cultural relations, opportunity to use the Russian language for career purposes and in everyday communication, study of a target language and culture, etc. The following three groups of respondents with different responses to the questionnaire were identified: students from Southeast Asia (SEA), Africa and European countries.
Conclusions. The authors compiled the list of factors determining the choice of a regional university by international students. The factors were differentiated according to ethnocultural background of respondents. The findings can inform the design and implementation of educational programs for foreigners in Russian universities.

Keywords: 

Higher education; International students; Student choice; Causes determining choice; Ethnocultural differences; Decision-making; Motivations; Destination choice; Transnational higher education.

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Date of the publication 30.06.2018