What sustains doctoral students' interest? Comparison of Finnish, UK and Spanish doctoral students' perceptions

Kirsi Pyhalto, Jouni Peltonen, Montserrat Castello, Lynn McAlpine

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Interest plays a major role in the doctoral experience. However, previous research has not considered how the national context might influence interest. This study focused on exploring cross-national variation in doctoral students' experiences by comparing Finnish, UK and Spanish doctoral students' research interests. Participants (n = 2.426) responded to theDoctoral Experiencesurvey. Spanish students sustained higher levels ofresearcherandinstrumental interestcompared to both UK and Finnish students. Finnish students displayed the lowest levels ofinstrumental interestwhile UK students combined the lowest level ofdevelopment interestwith the highest level ofcynicism. Interest was determinant for experienced exhaustion, cynicism, study satisfaction and reducing risk of abandonment across the three contexts. Results suggest that national differences in labour market, career expectations or programme structure can be powerful enough to overcome the incredible variation that has been proven to exist at the more local levels of doctoral nested contexts.
Sidor (från-till)726-741
Antal sidor16
StatusPublicerad - 3 jul 2020
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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