Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty of Education
Kitsawad, Kamol, An investigation of factors affecting high school student’s choice of university in Thailand, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong, 2013. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3779
The purpose of the study was to investigate into the factors influencing high school student's choice of university in Thailand with the aims to ascertain and explore as to how Thai high school students who aspire to embark on higher studies make their choice of university and why they choose one university over the others.
To address the purpose of the study, the following research questions were posed:
• What factors influence students’ choice of university in Thailand?
• Which attributes or characteristics of the university influence students’ opinions and perceptions on university choice?
• Which persons influence students’ decision making on choice of university?
• What source of information do students use for decision making on choice of university?
A mixed mode methodology was employed in this study, with both quantitative and qualitative methods serving different purposes in sequential phases. A focus group was conducted to guide the development of the data collection instrument used in the actual study. A pilot test was carried out to ensure the validity and reliability of the data gathering instrument – the questionnaire. In the final stage of data collection, semistructured interviews were conducted to confirm the findings and further explore potentials for future study. Purposive sampling design was chosen as the most appropriate approach in recruiting the sample size from Thai high school students. Both descriptive and inferential data analysis were conducted for data interpretation and content-based analysis was employed for the qualitative data.
Though the summary of the descriptive statistics shows that the majority of the respondents in this study paid higher interest in the public universities, they perceived the university atmosphere as the dominant influencing factor on their choice of university. They were most likely to agree that the university atmosphere was the most important among the influencing factors when they considered their university choice. It appeared that they thought the university providing the environments and atmosphere conducive to learning as one of the most important factors when they chose a university, followed by the reputation factor especially for the university with the reputation for high technology in all its infrastructure and teaching /learning facilities. University services were rated as another top important influencing factor particularly on the issue of university services on the adequacy and quality of library resources and services. When asked about location of the university, the respondents would consider the university in a convenient location as their priority in their choice. Another important influencing factor was the availability of financial aid provided by the institution. They would give more favorable choice to a university with a possibility for a scholarship.
Other factors were considered by the students in the survey, as rather neutral or not important for their choice of university. Finally, though they overwhelmingly stated that they would make their final decision on their choice of university by themselves, they also did consult with their parents and listen to their friends before making the decision.