This study aims to provide a deeper knowledge of the factors behind undergraduates' choice of an higher education institution (HEI) in Portugal. Based on Chapman's model (1981), this study presents the results of a survey on the personal characteristics and institutional drivers that influence this choice. The survey results in a sample of 368 Portuguese secondary or vocational education students in their final year who intend to apply to a public HEI. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to apply the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to this field of study. The findings indicate that the choice criteria of prospective students are the same irrespective of whether they are applying to a university or a polytechnic school. Among the criteria, job opportunities and the institution's reputation are the most important. Thus, managers should account for these criteria when seeking to increase their institution's competitive advantage.
Journal of Business Research – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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