Student needs and motives when attending a university: Exploring the Syrian case

Anas Al-Fattal, Rami Ayoubi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims at exploring student needs and motives to pursue higher education in Syria. Based on the model of student buyer behavior developed by Kotler and Fox in 1995, the study focuses on the first step of this model, so-called motives. The study results are based on qualitative data collected by means of semi-structured styles of interviews with 30 current students at three higher education institutions in Syria in the summer of 2010.The study reveals three dimensions of needs and motives. These are: Self needs and motives; Social needs and motives, and Souk (market) needs and motives. Accordingly, several detailed explanations for each dimension concluded from the study are presented. The findings reveal that the three dimensions are important for university students in Syria when attending universities. People responsible for marketing in higher education institutions need to pay attention to understand their students' motives when designing their customer-oriented marketing strategies. Study programs at universities could be designed to better satisfy such needs and motives. This study could provide bases for further research through a replication of the model using the information offered by the survey. Further research could investigate the research questions in a wider student population employing a quantitative approach. The importance of this study comes from the classification of needs and motives into a three-Ss model (Self, Society and Souk). The study also shows originality into understanding motives of Syrian students in attending certain universities in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-225
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Marketing for Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • student choices
  • student motives
  • Syria
  • universities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Student needs and motives when attending a university: Exploring the Syrian case'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this