Exploring the impact of generational differences on university study decisions in Slovakia

Šabíková et al. / Tuning Journal for Higher Education / May 22, 2023

Students whose parents did not study at a university (first-generation students) exhibit differences in how they decide whether and what to study, compared to students whose parents attended university. In this study, the authors looked for possible similarities and differences between these two groups of students. The participants were Slovak students aged from 18 to 22 (N = 357). The data were collected using an online questionnaire. The results showed that it was significantly more important for second-generation students, whose parents had university degree experience, to continue the family tradition when deciding to study than for first-generation students. The results also revealed that the internet is the most important source of information for students when choosing the subject of their studies. At present, higher education institutions strongly compete for students and, consequently, the authors recommend that universities pay attention to different target groups of students and develop intervention programs aimed at retaining them. It is equally important that universities keep up with the times and provide relevant information on their websites in today’s digital world.