Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education


School of Education


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Professor Russell Waugh

Second Advisor

Associate Professor Jan Gray


The private VET education industry has done well to maintain a high self-concept among the students, and perhaps the overall high praise of the teaching staff have contributed to maintaining high self-concepts among the students. Most international students treasured the social cultural, environment and lifestyles aspects of their stay in Australia and these items are also among the easy items of the linear scale produced in this present study.

The Rasch self-concept findings were consistent with the qualitative findings where students related much of their positive self-concept through their non-academic activities. Importantly, when the student’s Self-Concept is high they are able to benefit beyond just passing the units, they are able to find value and purpose in their study. The sub-group Standards which form part of the measure of Motivation to Achieve Academically seems to be rated harder by the students than was predicted, this may be due to the students not being familiar with the standard of the Australian VET system. Students may not have had sufficient understanding of the academic requirements of VET courses. This may have caused the students to be insufficiently prepared for their academic study and not fully informed of the standards expected of them. Some students perceive VET courses to be easier and can lead to good employment opportunities. Many international students do rate positively the opportunity to work and this could have provided the motivation for their courses.

Looking at the qualitative messages from the students, the colleges could do more to assist the students by assessing the language and study skills of the students and provide appropriate training to upgrade their skills accordingly. The colleges could also provide a more adequate explanation of the VET system to the students so as to better prepare the students with the necessary skills to pursue their academic studies. The negative responses were mainly about lack of resources and facilities among educational service providers and highlight the negative impacts when such expectations were not met. The colleges should be more aware that international students need more opportunities and facilities for these social, cultural and recreational activities