Undergraduate students' development of lifelong learning attributes in Tanzania

Mwaikokesya, Mpoki John (2014) Undergraduate students' development of lifelong learning attributes in Tanzania. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3019336


This thesis examines the extent to which undergraduate students‟ personal and institutional experiences influence their capacity to change and develop as lifelong learners in Tanzania. My interest in the topic grew out of my recognition of the need to maintain a critical eye on the purpose of higher education in Tanzania and to establish whether or not the recent education reforms introduced in higher education had had a robust impact on lifelong learning. The core question in this study was to determine whether or not university education in Tanzania develops students as lifelong learners and what the underlying factors influencing such development might be. The students‟ lifelong learning attributes in this thesis were operationalised using four major constructs, namely, „learning to learn‟ skills, „personal agency‟, „information skills‟ and „entrepreneurial skills‟.
This study adopted a case study longitudinal research design that involved two waves of data collection with the use of a mixed methods approach for triangulation purposes. It involved following a sample first-year cohort of students at one of the public universities in Tanzania (n=839, i.e. 621 males and 218 females) through Year 2. A small number of participants (n=59) [i.e. students (n=23), lecturers (n=26), librarians (n=4), policy elites (n=3) and school deans & college principals (n= 4)] took part in semi-structured interviews. The sample of students and lecturers was drawn from four distinct academic disciplines, namely, Accounting, Engineering, Science and Sociology.
The results with respect to the longitudinal study showed that there were significant changes in the ILS sub-scales of „stepwise processing‟ strategies and „certificate-directed‟ and the ‘self-test‟ learning orientations. Significant changes were also noted in the ISS sub-scales of ‘ethical use of information‟, „accessing information‟ and „evaluating information‟. These changes, however, seemed to occur relatively slowly. No improvements were found with regard to „entrepreneurial skills‟. The slow rate and the absence of changes, however, seemed to be partly the results of the unclear, limited and somewhat slow implementation of policies related to the integration of higher education with lifelong learning.
The findings also indicated that there were effects from personal and contextual factors on „processing‟ and „regulation‟ learning strategies for some of the constructs. The correlation results indicated that the students‟ personal beliefs were associated with their choice of processing and regulation strategies, suggesting that learning orientations were important predictors of students‟ processing and regulation learning strategies. In addition, the results showed that the contextual variables, such as lecturers, the teaching objectives and assessment procedures, as well as the social environments, such as friends, constituted significant predictors for student development of lifelong learning attributes.
These findings suggest that the undergraduate students‟ development of lifelong learning attributes is influenced by a variety of individual and contextual variables. In the light of the findings from the present study, a number of recommendations are made both for future studies and for policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Higher education, lifelong learning, Tanzania, graduate attributes.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Osborne, Prof. Michael and Huston, Dr. Muir
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Mr Mpoki John Mwaikokesya
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5018
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2014 07:24
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2014 07:38
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5018

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