Malaysian Nurses Motivation To Study On Transnational Higher Education Programmes

Nirmala Arunasalam

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Aim: To identify factors that motivated Malaysian nurses to study on one Australian and two UK Transnational Higher Education (TNHE) post-registration top-up nursing degree programmes.

Background: British and Australian University Schools of Nursing have capitalised on the prestige of their nurse education programmes to improve their profile through collaborative links with Malaysia. The lack of part-time programmes for nurses to upgrade their diploma qualifications to degree level has led Malaysia to embrace the TNHE post-registration top-up nursing degree programmes. Previous studies indicated that nurses' motivations to study were for personal and professional growth, to improve practice and to give quality care to patients.

Methods: In using hermeneutic phenomenology and the ethnographic principle of cultural interpretation, semi-structured interviews were conducted in Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysian language) and English with eighteen Malaysian nurses. The sample group were selected via convenience and snowball sampling methods. Interview data was analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings: Nurses were motivated to obtain the high status of the western degree, the financial incentives and enhanced opportunities for promotion; basically for individualistic and extrinsic reasons. The findings will help to inform the Malaysian Nursing Board, Ministry of Health and Higher Education and all engaged in international collaboration and higher education, including all TNHE programmes delivered in Malaysia, and in other South East Asian countries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalMalaysian Journal of Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Malaysian nurses, motivation, transnational higher education, post-registration nursing


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