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Youth motivations to study agriculture in tertiary institutions

Youth motivations to study agriculture in tertiary institutions

Inegbedion, Grace ORCID: 0000-0002-9565-3826 and Islam, Md Mofakkarul ORCID: 0000-0002-5404-6958 (2020) Youth motivations to study agriculture in tertiary institutions. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension. pp. 1-16. ISSN 1389-224X (Print), 1750-8622 (Online) (doi:

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Against the backdrop of a worldwide decline in entry into agricultural courses, we investigate the factors that motivate young people to continue studying (and not to drop out from) agricultural courses in tertiary institutions.

A cross-sectional survey was used. Questionnaire data were collected from 967 students within four universities in Southwest Nigeria. Motivation was measured using a 5-point Likert scale, designed with insights from the Self-Determination Theory (SDT). Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and Principal-Axis factoring.

All four extrinsic motivational types, as espoused in the SDT, were identified as factors, of which Identified regulation had the strongest influence. Among the identified regulation items, acquisition of entrepreneurial skills, opportunity to learn about innovations, and self-employment prospects after graduation were the strongest drivers.

Practical implications:
The findings stress the importance of making agricultural courses more business-focused, with hands-on skills on agri-innovations and agri-entrepreneurship. It also indicates the influence of socio-environmental context on youth behaviours. Policies needs to be more holistic and systematic in to support agri-entrepreneurship development and self-employment opportunities for agri-graduates.

Theoretical implications:
Youth motivation to study agricultural courses in tertiary institutions has not been adequately researched and theorized, especially in the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) context. Our study indicates that SDT provides a useful lens to examine this issue.

To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first of its kind in the SSA context. It not only contributes to the agricultural education literature, but also to the wider education literature through the application of the SDT theory in a new field.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: agricultural education, youth, motivation, self determination theory, tertiary institution, Nigeria
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 19:28

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