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This study explored graduate students' academic success by testing a hypothesized model based on the self-determination theory (SDT), which posits that motivation, time management and career aspiration predicts perceived success.Design/methodology/approachA quantitative methodology was employed to garner data from a population of 324 graduate students, and then analyzed using structural equation modeling in R.FindingsIntrinsic motivation was the strongest motivation type that predicted graduate students' perceived success. Time management was another important predictor of perceived success, while career aspiration did not impact students' perception of success. Doctoral students showed significantly higher relatedness when compared to master degree students. In addition, male students showed significantly higher career aspirations than females, while female students showed significantly higher time management than their male counterparts. The results of this study support the SDT as a framework to understand graduate students' academic success.Originality/valueImplementing the research findings may increase graduate students' academic success. This study suggests direct ways of increasing graduate students' achievement through intrinsic motivation, time management and autonomy, as well as reducing amotivation (lack of motivation) to indirectly enhance academic success.
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 13, 2021
Keywords: Self-determination theory (SDT); Higher education; Graduate students; Academic success; Motivation; Time management; Career aspiration
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