The Main Motivations of Ukrainian Students Who Choose to Study in Poland

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Abstract

Students’ educational migration is one of the phenomena characteristic of the globalization processes. It has been growing dynamically since the 1970s. A number of young people studying abroad has grown globally from 0.8m in 1975 to almost 5m in 2014. It comes therefore as no surprise that educational migration has become a subject of many sociological and economic studies. Their authors usually use the push-pull factors model i.e. they investigate the factors that “push” students out of their own countries and those that “pull” them to the new place of study. Our research on foreign students in Poland has been approached from a similar angle. In fact, we set out to find an answer to the question “What made foreign students from Ukraine leave their country and why did they choose to study in Poland?” To find our answers we conducted questionnaire interviews on a random purposive sample of foreign students from Ukraine (N=83). In addition, to avoid the risk that the resulting correlations were accidental and the knowledge yielded in this way false, we also used the triangulation procedure – a supporting, in-depth qualitative study involving a focus group. We altogether managed to hold 4 sessions. The results obtained in the questionnaire study and in the focus group sessions were sorted and analyzed statistically (quantitative and qualitative analysis), which allowed us to find out about the main motives influencing students’ migration decisions as well as the factors “pushing” them out of Ukraine and attracting them to Poland.

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