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A Study of University Students' Intention to Study Abroad Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior
Theory of planned behavior
structural equation modeling
Recent years, the number of outbound students in Taiwan has decreased year by year. In the long run, it will not only affect the talent pool abroad but the international academic territory of Taiwan. However, most of the recent researches focus on the push and pull factors related to students short-term studying abroad instead of the intention of long-term degree seeking. Based on the Theory of planned behavior (TPB), this study aims to design a model of the factors affecting the students’ intention of studying abroad. Data was collected from 417 junior and senior students through a questionnaire distributed through 6 universities. SPSS and Amos were employed as data analysis tools to confirm our hypotheses and test against the research model. The findings of the study reveal that: 1.Besides gender, other background variables toward the intention to study abroad factors are with significant differences. 1)Research-oriented university students have higher intention to study abroad than teaching-oriented university students. 2)Students who major in foreign languages have higher intention to study abroad than those who major in business and engineering. 3)The education level, overseas studying and working experience and social economic status of parents play vital roles on behavioral attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavior control, and behavioral intention. 2.According to the extent of social economic status (SES) and the intention to study abroad, there are four types of student in study abroad: Autonomous, Potential, Hard-working and Hardship. Universities should give supports to students in accordance with their SES and intention to study abroad. 3.Students think the supports universities give to them are insufficient, universities should reinforce their role on helping students study abroad. 4.TPB is a suitable theory in analyzing university students’ intention to study abroad. 1)Most of the students have positive attitudes toward study abroad. Behavioral attitude has the most significant effect on the intention to study abroad, followed by subjective norm and perceived behavior control. 2)Belief-based factors have significant relations with direct-measured factors. 5.The TPB model of university students’ intention to study abroad fits well. This study addresses several suggestions. First, the government need to allocate more budget or reform the policy of governmental sponsorship for overseas study on encouraging more students study abroad, especially those from low-SES backgrounds. Also, the Ministry of Education (MOE) can try to cooperate with civil groups and other government departments to meet the needs of different students. Furthermore, the MOE should reflect on the criteria of Internationalization Quality Supervision and put more emphasis on the study abroad part. Second, different types of university should have different strategies and play different roles (information provider, motivator, integrator and guidance) to encourage students to study abroad. They should communicate with parents the benefits of study abroad, actively provide information to students, and help students improve their foreign language proficiency. Third, future studies can try to put other factors, such as personal traits and behavior, to expandthe TPB model and to increase the target to graduate students or other fields, or try to do the comparisons between long-term and short-term study abroad.
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