An Analysis of Intercultural Students’ Self-Determination in Graduate Online Programmes: Implications for Praxis

  • 1 University of Roehampton London,
  • 2 University of Liverpool Management School Online Graduate Studies,


The self-determination of online graduate students was studied in terms of the impact of autonomy, competence and relatedness upon their persistence. Unique to this study was the assessment of the potential influence of socio-cultural factors. As the majority of research into online university students’ persistence is generated from the US, Canada, UK and European countries assessing their own domestic populations, the global nature of this study provides a new perspective. Fifty-four online graduate students representing 26 countries participated representing 19 lesser developed economies and 7 developed economies. Collectivist versus individualistic cultures were equally represented. Self-determination Theory (SDT) was examined both in terms of the online classroom environment as well as overcoming life challenges for programme perseverance. A correlational matrix was used to reject the null hypothesis. Results indicated that statistically significant correlations exist among the three variables, and, in the instances of the variables of autonomy and relatedness, a significant negative correlation exists. The findings indicate that the participants displayed strong internal locus of control, self-directed learning, competency and relatedness in attaining success within the online environment programme. Cultural communitarianism values were not found to be of significant influence.

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