Briefing Paper

Sponsorship and Leverage: Sources of Support and Field of Study Decisions of Students from Developing Countries

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The research presented in this report was commissioned to ascertain the answers to two research questions: (1) What is the nature and degree of association between the forms of foreign student finance and field of study decisions, and does this association differ significantly between undergraduate and graduate students? (2) How can the above findings provide assistance in formulating policies for sponsoring agencies in regard to the nature and level of financing and the restrictions to beplaced on field of study choices?

This study aims to improve understanding of the effects of one key incentive in foreign student field of study choices— the source of financing. If home country governments and donor agencies are to assess whether the sums invested are effective in generating adequate numbers of trained graduates with specific skills and competencies, the field of study decisions of non-sponsored and sponsored students need to be understood. A better understanding of the association between the source of support and field of study decisions will help sponsors decide whether changes in award criteria or amounts ought to be
considered. 

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