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Motivation of Foreign Students Seeking a Multi-Institutional Forestry Master's Degree in Europe

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In the context of globalization in higher education, the increasing importance of student mobility and the challenges of aligning forestry curricula to changing societal demands, this study explores the motivation of forestry students seeking graduate degrees in a foreign country. Within the framework of the expectancy-value theory of motivation, a qualitative approach is taken to provide an in-depth characterization of a group of 20 students from 14 countries starting a multi-institutional graduate program in Europe. Results indicate a high motivation, but also a great variability, of expressed motives and goals. Within a wide range of interests, climate change and carbon sequestration issues appear among the hottest topics alongside some traditional areas. High interests in continuing to doctoral studies and in returning to work in their home countries are reported. Findings of this research provide potential value for curriculum development of international programs in general and of forestry programs in particular.

Keywords: forestry education; international students; interview study; motivation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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