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Title: Understanding student motivations and choice criteria to enrol in a French German double degree programme
Author: Marmiesse, Y.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 8286
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the choice process behind the decision to enrol in a French German double degree programme. The context of the research is a collaborative programme in international management, accredited by the French German University (FGU) and delivered by a French business school (ESCE Paris) and a German University of Applied Sciences (HWR Berlin), including a two-year mobility period in the partner country. The purpose of the study was to understand the deep motivations, choice criteria and potential influences which push students to enrol, as well as identify potential differences in student motivations depending on their institution of origin. Besides, the research aimed at making recommendations to better address student expectations in the delivery of French German programmes and design more effective recruitment practices. The study design was qualitative and data were collected through 14 individual interviews carried out with ESCE and HWR registered students. A thematic analysis was conducted and the data were interpreted using a revised model of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as a theoretical framework. The research demonstrates that the choice of the French German Programme (FGP) prevails over the choice of the institutions offering it and has its own set of determinants. The decision to enrol is based on a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors, where social capital, cultural capital and prior experiences play a critical role, even if students also consider more rational elements such as short-term benefits of the programme or longer- term career expectations in their choice. The study highlights the strong parental influence, the role of early academic decisions and the impact of country and city image in student orientation towards international study path. The findings suggest that applicants share a Page | 2 number of beliefs and values with respects to international academic programmes, as well as a high self-concept of ability, enhanced reflexivity skills and the strategic ability to adapt to different learning environments. The study suggests that the choice of the FGP can be seen as a strategy of differentiation where students expect to accumulate multiple forms of cultural and social capital in order to obtain competitive positioning in job markets. No major differences were found between ESCE and HWR registered students, except for their attitude towards tuition fees and costs associated with the programme. The research also demonstrates the influence of the institutional context, the higher education system and the larger legal, social and economic environment on the choice of a study path, in line with the four-layer model of college choice developed by Perna (2006). The study concludes by calling for additional research in that field and for the replication of similar research on other French German programmes to check the generalizability of the findings.
Supervisor: Pickles, C. ; Qualter, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral