In most instances my curiosity is sparked by the simplest action or thought, however when you’re forced to be curious it doesn’t come so naturally, or so thats what I’ve learned trying to come up with a research topic. I didn’t want to force my topic as, to put it simply it isn’t so riveting spending approximately 13 weeks researching an issue/topic which you have absolutely no interest in, nor do you care for the result. So I decided I’d relax the urgency and let my mind be CURIOUS.
With that, as it always happens, I watched a video in one of my lectures which basically (using fancy videography techniques and inspiring music) squeezed a students whole university career into 4 or so minutes. Although in that specific lecture they were trying to get me to focus on the importance of organisation, being prepared and keeping up to date with workload, this got me thinking about a completely different topic, of course. I started with, Why did they choose university out of all the possible post-high school options they were provided. Perhaps it has something to do with sticking with stereotypes, societal norms etc. Also why did they choose their specific course and most specifically to me, Why do students choose to study at the University of Wollongong? Is it all that end of HSC marketing they put out? (especially the TV commercials that make you feel so empowered and ready to conquer the world.)
Upon first glance this may seem like a very obvious question to answer, however there is multitudes of reasoning behind the answer, hence the fascination. In every tutorial, lecture, university group etc. every individual who makes up the specific cohort has a different reasoning for their position, no two people are exactly the same however they had all ended up in the exact same place. My question is why?
To first gather further information about the university and not just begin my research off personal insight, like any other researcher I started with google- the University of Wollongong website to be exact. Here I fell into a rabbit hole of information, whereby the statistics page caught my eye the most. Not only is there a total of 25, 387 students studying in Australia, another 7,566 are accounted for under offshore campuses such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. This information led me the article ‘Student Choice in Higher Education: Motivations for Choosing to Study at an International Branch Campus’ (link), this specific article covered the reasoning for attending International Campuses, specifically the UOW United Arab Emirates (UAE) campus and the difference between students who choose home and international campuses.
Furthermore through general searches the issue of finances was a common reoccurring reasoning to my study. With some investigation an international article, ‘Choosing a University: A conjoint analysis of the impact of higher fees on students applying for university in 2012′, provided background on how students in England based their reasoning on the quality of the course and its relation to financial cost. This was quite interesting as from personal experience students do not discuss the impact or influence finances have on their choice of studying at UOW, however I would imagine it is one of the fundamental deciding factors.
Through my seemingly minuscule attempt at researching my topic, my fascination grows for reasoning, Why do students choose to study at the University of Wollongong? The above readings do provide insight for only a fraction of the 25,387 local and 7,566 global students who see their future through the University of Wollongong.
University of Wollongong, UOW at a glance, Statistics, 2017,<https://www.uow.edu.au/about/statistics/index.html> (Accessed 12th March 2018)
Wilkins S, Stephens M & Huisman J, ‘Student Choice in Higher Education: Motivations for Choosing to Study at an International Branch Campus’, Journal of Studies in International Education, Vol 16, Issue 5, 2011, pp. 413 – 433 (Accessed 14th March 2018)
Dunnett A, Moorhouse J, Walsh C & Barry C, Choosing a University: A conjoint analysis of the impact of higher fees on students applying for university in 2012, Tertiary Education and Management, Vol 18, Issue 3, 2012, Pages 199-220 (Accessed 14th March 2018)