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The development of higher education students' interest in their subject: the case of higher professional education in the Netherlands

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Higher education students' interest in their subject has been found to clearly decrease during the first year of their studies in the Netherlands. This decrease is much smaller for students in the second year, and even turns into an increase in higher years. The loss of interest after enrolment in higher education has also been found in longitudinal data. The drop in interest in school is a well-known phenomenon in secondary education. This study reported in this article investigated whether the explanations found in the secondary education research can be translated to the situation of students in higher professional education. The analyses were performed using structural equation modelling. It was found that the difference in interest in the subject directly after enrolment, and in the second year, can be explained by lower integration of students in the study environment, and by other aspects of life that interfere with studying and with the motivation to study.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: SCO‐Kohnstamm Institute, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2: SEO, Amsterdam Economics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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