Exploring the impact of generational differences on university study decisions in Slovakia

Keywords: first-generation students, second-generation students, decision-making, university study choice, sources of information


Students whose parents did not study at a university (first-generation students) exhibit differences in how they decide whether and what to study, compared to students whose parents attended university. In our study, we looked for possible similarities and differences between these two groups of students. The participants were Slovak students aged from 18 to 22 (N = 357). The data were collected using an online questionnaire. The results showed that it was significantly more important for second-generation students, whose parents had university degree experience, to continue the family tradition when deciding to study than for first-generation students. The results also revealed that the internet is the most important source of information for students when choosing the subject of their studies. At present, higher education institutions strongly compete for students and, consequently, we recommend that universities pay attention to different target groups of students and develop intervention programs aimed at retaining them. It is equally important that universities keep up with the times and provide relevant information on their websites in today’s digital world.

Received: 8 March 2022
Accepted: 16 April 2023


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Author Biographies

Nikola Šabíková, Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia

PhD student of Social and Occupational Psychology at the Institute of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Kamila Valentová, Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia

MA student of Social and Occupational Psychology at the Institute of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Radomír Masaryk, Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia

PhD in Educational Psychology, is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. His research interests are social and health psychology and qualitative research. He is an active member of the International Society for Critical Health Psychology (ISCHP) and the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS). He is currently serving as the Comenius University Vice-Rector for External Affairs.

Aleš Neusar, University of Ostrava, Czechia

PhD in Psychology, is currently serving as an assistant professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ostrava, Czech Republic. He has his own psychotherapeutic practice and is interested in change for the better (e.g. among people with depression), research methodology, cognitive psychology, and educational psychology. He is an active member of Czech-Moravian Psychological society and Association of marital and family counsellors.

Lenka Sokolová, Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia

PhD in Educational Psychology, is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. Her research interests are educational psychology and psychology learning and teaching. She is the past President of European Federation of Psychology Teachers’ Associations (EFPTA) and the member of European Federation of Psychologists’ Association’s (EFPA’s) Board of Educational Affairs.


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How to Cite
Nikola Šabíková, Kamila Valentová, Radomír Masaryk, Aleš Neusar, and Lenka Sokolová. 2023. “Exploring the Impact of Generational Differences on University Study Decisions in Slovakia”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 10 (2), 161-87. https://doi.org/10.18543/tjhe.2380.