Student university choice in Kurdistan-Iraq: what factors matter?

A. Kassem, P. Al-Askari, H.K. Massoud, Rami Ayoubi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We aim to investigate the factors influencing student choice in the private higher education (HE) sector in Kurdistan-Iraq. Hence, this research attempts to add to the literature in terms of understanding student university choice, in general, and address the gap in the literature in the context of Middle Eastern studies including Kurdistan, in particular. We employed a survey research design using a self-developed questionnaire targeting first-year students in private universities in Kurdistan. Using a sample of 518 students and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), we found that the university characteristics that most influenced student choice were reputation/accreditation, quality of teaching, employability and quality of facilities, a finding consistent with existing literature. However, cost of study was not seen to be highly influential in relation to student choice. Accordingly, the study recommends that universities consider increasing their tuition fees and dedicating the extra revenues to boosting their reputation, enhancing their quality of teaching and accreditation and increasing their connection to and relationships with local employers. Some other implications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
JournalJournal of Further and Higher Education
Volume(In-press)
Early online date20 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Kurdistan-Iraq
  • University characteristics
  • private universities
  • student choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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