Determinants that impact first year male students’ motivation to learn at UAE public colleges

PhD Thesis

Al Kaabi, Sultan Ali Rashed Ali. 2016. Determinants that impact first year male students’ motivation to learn at UAE public colleges. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.

Determinants that impact first year male students’ motivation to learn at UAE public colleges

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorAl Kaabi, Sultan Ali Rashed Ali
SupervisorRedmond, Petrea
Albion, Peter
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages259

UAE male undergraduate dropout is a bleed into the country’s human resources in its strategic quest to enter the digital economy with a well-educated local generation in a post oil-era. The phenomenon is more apparent in first year students studying foundation courses of English to be prepared to enter college.

As students enter the learning environment of higher education institutes, they move from teacher-centric education to learner-centric education, from a predominantly Arab culture of high school, to a predominantly Western environment of colleges where challenges of adaptability arise. In these socially and academically changing education communities, students are expected to assume personal responsibilities in a learner-centric environment utilising different teaching methods and aiding technologies than what they were used to at high school. Inabilities to adapt to this environment have challenging effects on students’ motivation leading to unsatisfactory academic results and even dropouts.

This qualitative descriptive research was conducted using 13 focus groups of first year undergraduate UAE males in the three public UAE colleges of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Zayed University (ZU), and Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT). The aim was to understand student perception of their social and education environment and its elements that affect their motivation to learn.

The results show that social, curriculum, personal and college related elements play important roles on students’ motivation and engagement in learning. A theoretical contribution of the study is that it adds evidence that focus groups can be used as a self-contained research method. A practical contribution of the research is that it presented a detailed account of elements that have positive and negative impact on motivation, and the suggested remedies for higher education policy makers, administrators and instructors to implement and improve student retention. A side contribution of the research was the uncovering of elements that relate directly to both students’ class failure and dropout.

Keywordsmale students; UAE public colleges; learner-centric environemnt
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390301. Continuing and community education
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
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