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Browsing by Author "Raessalo, Emma"

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  • Raessalo, Emma (2018)
    The demands for the individual in the present day society include constant self-development and educating oneself and thus many people obtain more than just one university degree. At the same time the transition from studies to working life is being accelerated for example by quotas for first-time applicants, which has made it more difficult to study another degree. Consequently, individuals face conflicting demands regarding their studies. In this study I examine the motives that the students of general and adult education at the University of Helsinki with a previous bachelor’s degree from a university of applied sciences have for studying another university degree. The main purpose of this study was to find out 1) what are the motives that these students describe having for their studies and 2) define, based on these motives, the student types that the interviewees represent. This subject has not been previously studied using this kind of target group but similar studies have been conducted on adult students and students with double degrees. These studies have found that the students have many different motives for their studies and that they also represent different student types. The collection of the research data was carried out in the fall of 2017 utilizing individual and theme interviews. Four students majoring in general and adult education and having a previous bachelor’s degree from the university of applied sciences were interviewed. The methods used in the data analysis were theory directed and theory based content analysis. The categories representing the students’ motives were created using the motive groups (industrial asset, changing career, university as a haven, educating oneself and further education) defined by Minna Kylmälahti in her study. The student types were defined using Marika Alho-Malmelin’s student type classification (career-oriented, degree-oriented, seekers of change and studying as a way of life). This study indicated that students have many different motives for studying another university degree. The motives discovered included career change, university education as a long-term dream, desire for knowledge and suitable time for studies. A very common motive, however, was an unsuccessful first career choice, which had led students to study another degree. Many student types were represented in the data. Every interviewee represented at least two different student types and overall the student types represented in this study were career-oriented students, students for whom studying is a way of life, and students seeking change. According to this study, the students studying another degree are a versatile group whose major motivational factor to study is an unsuccessful first career choice. Therefore, it is important to secure the possibility to change careers also when political decisions to accelerate the transitions between education levels are being made.