Interest and Intent in Pursuing Higher Education: Nepali Students' Perceptions on Study Abroad Experiences

Interest and Intent in Pursuing Higher Education: Nepali Students' Perceptions on Study Abroad Experiences

Michelle Welsch (Tribhuvan University, Nepal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3451-8.ch016

Abstract

This chapter study investigated the views and plans of 519 Nepali students considering higher education overseas. Students ages 16 to 32 from government and private learning institutions throughout Kaski District, Nepal completed a questionnaire on interest in higher education and perceptions of study abroad programs. Participants recorded potential countries of interest, reasons for continued study, and anticipated means of financial support. Students were hypothesized to be influenced by peers, motivated by financial gain, and reliant upon financial aid sources such as scholarships and grants. Results indicated statistical differences between students from rural and city areas and those enrolled in government and boarding institutions; subject of choice, sources used for information, motivation, and anticipated means of financial support varied among groups. Education level and peer influence were also statistically significant, affecting students' country of choice and motivation to pursue degrees abroad. Implications for additional research and suggestions for educators are discussed.
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Background

The inability of Nepal’s higher education institutions to attract and keep qualified students within the country has been cited as a primary factor in the high number of student departures (Koirala, 2004). Some researchers have pointed to the history of Nepal’s education system, blaming formal pedagogy, lecture-oriented classrooms, limited interaction between faculty and students, and exams that rely on rote memorization (Rosenbloom & Bijay, 2003; Koirala-Azad, 2011); other researchers have attributed the stunted development of quality academic programs to limited financial resources, lack of training, and poor infrastructure (Koirala-Asad, 2011). Certain academic subjects have fought to win government support, and political instability, multi-cultural issues, and limited professional associations have slowed advancements in education and field training (Nikku 2010).

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