I have just published a new paper looking at educational decision making in the postgraduate area.
Mellors-Bourne, R., Hooley, T. & Marriott, J. (2014). Understanding how people choose to pursue taught postgraduate study. Bristol: HEFCE.
The main points made by the paper are as follows:
The research undertaken by CRAC and iCeGS identified that:
- prospective PGT students are a diverse and complex group and as a result approach decision making in a range of different ways
- prospective PGT students who had spent some time outside higher education sometimes find it more difficult to access the information they needed
- prospective PGT students were typically interested in very local and programme-specific information about the courses that they were exploring
- prospective PGT students need to be able to identify if study is practical and possible and require information which assures them of this i.e. funding, applications procedures, attendance
- prospective PGT students found information related to safety and security (for international students), course or departmental reputation, expected time commitment, and career outcomes for graduates from specific programmes most difficult to find
- prospective PGT students believed that most of the information that they needed to make their decisions was available somewhere but was not always easily found
- prospective PGT students desired contact with staff who can provide tailored responses to individual queries is important to prospective PGT students.