Ruqaiya Javed, Fayyaz Hussain Qureshi, Sarwar Khawaja


The non-traditional experience for mature students can sometimes be challenging as they connect to the college/university later in life. A new avenue for career growth achieved through higher education can be advantageous for those at a career transition phase. The present research aimed to study the academic intrinsic motivation and learning engagement of mature students in private higher education institutions. The contemporary literature has found a higher intrinsic motivation for learning in mature students than the regular traditional students. Also, student engagement is correlated to success factors such as increased retention, high impact and lifelong learning, social and personal growth and development and student wellbeing. A survey research design was employed to collect primary data (N=300) from full-time undergraduate mature students studying in the private higher education institutions in the South of England, aged 21 years and above. The data was analysed using SPSS version 26.0 and AMOS version 23.0. The bivariate analysis results showed a positive correlation between intrinsic academic motivation and different learning engagements. The non-traditional students who were intrinsically motivated tend to participate more in academic-related activities in private higher education to experience efficacious learning. Furthermore, the result of exploratory factor analysis yielded a three-factor solution for the 15-item study motivation questionnaire with a reliability of 0.93. The result of confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the hypothesised three-factor model structure of the 15-item university student engagement inventory on mature students with a reliability of 0.85. Hence, both scales confirmed high psychometric properties. The academic needs of mature students must be considered. Colleges/universities should organise non-traditional programmes to enhance their motivation for personal and professional growth through higher studies later in life.


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