Choosing Educational Services in Higher Education – a Theoretical Approach

  • Danuta Piróg Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie Instytut Geografii
Keywords: aspiration theory, hybrid model, motivation theory, personality theory, prospect theory, rational choice theory, signalling theory


The educational services sector in higher education has grown rapidly in the times of the market economy. At the same time forecasts say that future interest in higher education will decline. Consequently, there is a real hazard that numerous degree programmes will have to be closed down. In the face of such an unfavourable demographic situation, higher education institutions engage in strategies aimed at maintaining a steady number of enrolled students. One such strategy includes investigating what drives young people to continue their education at a university level, what their motivations in choosing a given university or a particular degree programme are. Research suggests that knowing mechanisms governing such decisions is conducive to planning reforms at higher education institutions – both in terms of their operations and curriculum. Reforms can in turn successfully reinforce the institution’s position on the educational services market. In order to conduct academically sound and practically useful research into factors which influence the educational decisions of young people, one needs to develop a theoretical framework that will be utilised to plan specific empirical research procedures. The conducted literature review indicates that there are currently no publications in Poland that would thoroughly describe mechanisms and motives behind choosing education services at a tertiary level. The objective of the current study is to present literature concerning theories of educational choices. This discussion can be then used as a foundation towards understanding the mechanisms behind decisions taken by young people, e.g. whether to pursue university education at all, where to study and which degree programme to pick.


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Author Biography

Danuta Piróg, Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie Instytut Geografii
Danuta Piróg, Ph.D., professor at the Pedagogical University of Cracow (Institute of Geography). Her current research interests cover the following three core areas. First area is the transition of higher education graduates’ from education to the labour market. She explores these issues both through labour market theories and mechanisms of this type of transition in the light of socio-economic changes. Second topic in dedicated to factors which influence the educational decisions of young people with a particular concern of higher education in Poland and in other countries. She also explores the possibilities of implementation of these results into HE quality management. The third area is dedicated to innovative concepts and strategies of vocational counselling among young people.


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How to Cite
PirógD. (2017). Choosing Educational Services in Higher Education – a Theoretical Approach. Studies of the Industrial Geography Commission of the Polish Geographical Society, 31(3), 204-219.