Why Event, Sport and Recreation Management? A Western Australian study of undergraduate student degree choice
Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
The declining interest in undergraduate leisure studies courses, largely in favour of programs in sport, tourism, and events, has seen a number of institutions make significant changes to their course offerings in recent years. In 2008, largely in response to these shifts in student preference but also due to industry requirements, Edith Cowan University in Western Australia replaced the Bachelor of Leisure Sciences with a new degree titled the Bachelor of Event, Sport and Recreation Management. This paper presents the findings of research which examined the factors that students deemed important in this degree choice. Self-completed questionnaires were administered to 62 students (response rate of 91 per cent) who were enrolled in the BESRM course in 2008 and 2009. On 5-point Likert scale measures, students rated the importance of 25 factors; they also provided reasons for their degree choice. The results indicated that the career opportunities and consequent job prospects that this course provided were the most significant. The desire to work in the specific career areas of event management and the sport and recreation industries, coupled with the interest and ‘passion’ many students had for these areas, made this course attractive to them. In contrast, factors such as professional prestige/high status of future career and earnings potential, alongside the advice and influence of those close to students, and institutional and course concerns were seen to be of less importance.