Difficulties and motivation of postgraduate students in selected Nigerian universities.

Author:Igun, Stella E.


Motivation energizes people to overcome setbacks. Study motivation helps students to stay focused and psychologically empowered to overcome obstacles and difficulties during study. Motivation drives students to achieve goals. Postgraduate students should be interested in the area of study and full of enthusiasm that should not wane as the study advances and as problems are confronted.

One theory of motivation is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow identified lower needs that have to be met before higher needs at the top. The starting point of Maslow's hierarchy theory is that people have needs that must be satisfied in the following order:

* Physiological: food, sleep, etc.

* Safety: Stable environment relatively free from threats

* Social: Affectionate relations with others and status within a group.

* Esteem: Self-respect, self-esteem, and the esteem of others; desire for confidence, competence, achievement, mastery, recognition, and reputation.

* Self-actualization: Self-fulfilment

The Nigerian postgraduate student may desire to move up the hierarchy to attain the level of self-actualization but this progress may be hindered by difficulties which could hamper the desire, zeal, and goal. Apart from these areas of needs in Maslow's theory that postgraduate students must overcome, this study will also look at other difficulties and obstacles confronting Nigerian postgraduates students in the areas of

* Prolonged semesters or sessions due to strikes and student unrest

* Getting research materials

* Interaction between lecturers and students.

* The need to for understanding and knowledge to satisfy curiosity, explore, and discover and to find solutions, look for relationships, and seek intellectual challenges.

* The postgraduate student needs self-fulfilment, development, and use of potentials.

The Nigerian Postgraduate Student and Maslow's Theory

Motivation is key to overcoming difficulties and setbacks in the postgraduate level. Postgraduate students must take initiative in seeking resources, assistance, managing time, and forming good reading habits. Postgraduate education must motivate students to serious work. University authorities and other stakeholders in Nigerian postgraduate education systems must consider student needs in the hierarchical order. Priorities should be given to these motivational needs so that postgraduate students can reach their potential.

Problems include:

* Lack of study time

* Poor use of study time

* Procrastination

* Lack of good study space

Postgraduate students also influence motivation through factors such...

To continue reading