Factors Influencing Gen-Y Undergraduates’ Choice of Research Supervisor: A Case Study of a Malaysian Private University

Ali Shafiq, Anbareen Jan

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Abstract

This paper explored what factors Gen-Y undergraduates deem important, and how they are ranked in selecting a research supervisor. Focus group was used at the first stage to elicit factors that were important to the respondents. The second step included ranking those factors through qualitative survey. The 12 identified factors ranked in descending order of importance are: Educational qualification, experience in the field, previous encounter with the supervisor, previous projects supervised by the supervisor, word-of-mouth related to the supervisor, referral by other faculty members, research methodology used by the supervisor, age, gender, nationality/ethnicity, religion, and profile picture of the supervisor. Being an exploratory study, the data is collected from a small sample from one university only, hence raising generalization issues. For future research, these dimensions can be validated via a large sample study. This research sheds light on what attracts millennials when selecting their research supervisor; from which academics and higher education institutions can identify potential areas of weaknesses and introduce subsequent improvements. The existing literature focusses on postgraduate researchers, after they have chosen a supervisor; whereas this research explores how undergraduates choose a research supervisor. The model formulated in this study could also be applied to postgraduate students as to what attracts them when selecting their supervisor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-34
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Process: International Journal
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Educational Process: International Journal (EDUPIJ) is an Open Access Journal which enables scholars, students or readers to get free and unrestricted access.

Keywords

  • research supervision
  • millennials/Gen-Y
  • services marketing
  • consumer decision making process
  • qualitative research.

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