Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

The modern Danish student: – A questionnaire of students’ attitudes to education, motives of choice of study and attitudes to teaching at a university

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearch

  • Department of Psychology


A study based on diaries written by 82 students at Roskilde University (Simonsen & Ulriksen, 1998) concluded that the attitudes regarding choice of education and educational activities of the "modern Danish student" are characterized by 1) an orientation towards the individualized and personal aspects, 2) an internally motivated and existential "personal growth" orientation, 3) a process - rather than result-oriented attitude towards educational activities, 4) a short-term "here- and now" motivation, and 5) an ambivalent attitude towards who is responsible for the result of the learning activities - the teachers or student him- or her-self. This study attempts to test whether the conclusions concerning the "Modern Danish student" can be generalized to other student populations. Based on theoretical conclusions and statements cited by Simonsen and Ulriksen, a questionnaire was constructed. Factor analyses revealed a number of internally consistent and theoretically relevant dimensions. 686 students from four different faculties at the University of Aarhus then completed the questionnaire. The results confirmed that the attitudes of philosophy students corresponded to those described by Simonsen and Ulriksen (91% correspondence). Students from other faculties, however, differed in their attitudes from the ones reported by Simonsen and Ulriksen. For example, the attitudes of medical students only showed a 45% correspondence. Their attitudes were found to be more long-term career-oriented than short-term motivated, more pragmatically oriented than personal-growth motivated, and more motivated by external than internal factors. While the conclusions of Simonsen and Ulriksen perhaps can be generalized to students from humanistic faculties, they do not seem to be representative of students from other faculties

Translated title of the contributionDen Moderne Studerende: - en spørgeskemaundersøgelse af universitetsstuderendes holdninger til uddannelse, motiver for valg af studium og holdninger til undervisning
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEARLI Conference 28.8-1.9.2007, Developing potentials for learning
Number of pages1
PublisherEARLI, University of Szeged, Graduate School of Education, Faculty of Arts
Publication year2007
ISBN (print)978-963-482-837-2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event12th Biennale Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, 2007 - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 27 Aug 20071 Sep 2007


Conference12th Biennale Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, 2007

    Research areas

  • Student motives, Attitudes towards education

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 8069672