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Open Access Enrollment decision-making by students in forestry and related natural resource degree programmes globally

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

A survey of 396 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries on 5 continents currently enrolled in Forestry or Related Natural Resource (FRNR) degree programmes was conducted of attendees to the International Union of Forest Research Organizations' (IUFRO) conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, 2014. These perspectives come from some of the most active students in their respective fields. We explored the motivating reasons for enrolling in their current FRNR programme, and conversely why they may have been hesitant to do so. Results indicate that enjoyment of nature was the most important factor on average driving the decision to enroll, closely followed by job satisfaction, concern for the environment, enjoyment of outdoor recreation, being outdoors, and an interest in subject material. Hesitancy factors included earning potential, availability of funding/scholarships, and politically contentious issues. A number of significant differences were found across demographic categories. Of particular note was the greater hesitancy on the part of women and people of color to enroll in FRNR degree programmes compared to their white male counterparts. We discuss the limitations of our study arising from its international scope and imbalance of responses among countries and regions.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2020

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