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January 17, 2017

HBKU Press Study Highlights Factors for Student Success

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A recent study in the Near and Middle Eastern Journal of Research in Education, published by HBKU Press’s online, open access platform, QScience.com, highlights academic advising in pre-university and in early university years as one of the biggest factors in determining the success of university students in Qatar.

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The journal is one of many peer-reviewed, open access journals published by HBKU Press and hosted on QScience.com on various subjects that help inform and stimulate scholarly discussion about local and international issues.

The study, titled, “A qualitative study of student attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, outlook and context in Qatar: Persistence in higher education” aims to understand the perceptions, beliefs, outlook, decisions, and experiences of Qatari university students.

Led by psychologist Batoul Khalifa from Qatar University in conjunction with other researchers from Dhofar University (Oman) and the Regional Research Institute (USA), the researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 35 students from various post-secondary institutions in Qatar.

One of the most commonly shared opinions of the Qatari students interviewed was that there is a need to bridge that gap in preparedness and expectations between primary and secondary education and post-secondary education. Some interviewees noted that, even where the students considered themselves capable and proficient in English, the demanding level of English proficiency in post-secondary institutions sometimes held them back from reaching their full potential.

The research suggests that increased contact between students and faculty promotes higher level of student satisfaction with the college experience because the faculty is in a position of authority and are able to provide support, direction and guidance to students. Students need to interact with faculty to support and increase their own personal achievements, persistence, and academic skills. The greater the potential among students to connect with university life, the greater they will engage in it, promote it, and have some affinity to it; at which point, even language barriers or differences in learning methods can be overcome and success can be achieved.

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