How do life goals and motivations of international students studying in Australia impact their achievement outcomes?

Ann Guns, Paul William Richardson, Helen Margaret Gilchrist Watt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Many international students aim beyond their country boundaries by moving away from home and studying abroad. This longitudinal design addressed a gap in current research, by linking together antecedent life goals and motivations on entry to students? studies, to predict exit achievement scores, to provide information concerning optimising international students? engagement and learning. Participants were international students (N = 342) from South-East Asian backgrounds who at arrival to Australia did not meet university requirements and therefore enrolled in a university preparatory course. At its beginning and end, they completed ethically approved reliable psychological survey measures which elicited information on a range of study motivations; a measure of general life goals was purpose-developed and validated. Exit achievement data were provided by course administrators. The stereotypical view that international students? goal is to migrate to Australia was not supported, being the lowest rated life goal. Students rated future career and life enjoyment highest, and also family related goals were regarded highly. Regression analysis showed these goals impacted academic `task value?, which subsequently was the sole motivational factor significantly predicting course achievement. Promoting and sustaining these life goals should foster academic task value and actual achievement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAARE 2012 Conference Proceedings & Program
EditorsJan Wright
Place of PublicationSydney New South Wales Australia
PublisherAustralian Association for Research in Education
Pages1 - 17
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2012 - University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2 Dec 20126 Dec 2012


ConferenceInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2012
Abbreviated titleAARE 2012
OtherThe 2012 Annual Conference was a joint conference of AARE and APERA, incorporating a WERA Focal Meeting.

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