The Discourse on Student Engagement and Motivation Among Foreign Students in Finland




student engagement, motivation, foreign student, higher education, Finland, qualitative research


Student engagement in higher education is a complex construct that encompasses the active participation, involvement, and investment of students in their learning experiences. However, foreign students, who bring unique cultural, linguistic, and social backgrounds, face distinct challenges and experiences in adapting to higher education environments. This research aimed to fill a practical research gap by exploring how foreign undergraduate students in Finland perceive student engagement and motivation in higher education. Moreover, it sought to advance the ongoing discussion about student engagement in academia. This inductive research adopted a qualitative research framework and gathered interview data with foreign degree students in Finland. The semi-structured interviews with foreign undergraduate students were analyzed thematically and yielded four primary themes. First, the theme of peer interaction and cultural stereotypes, followed by the second theme, which revolves around integration challenges. The third theme highlights challenges viewed as opportunities, and finally, the theme of institutional support. Moreover, the study contributes to the body of knowledge by providing valuable insights about a group of students that is often marginalized. The article concludes by providing implications for research and practice.


Received: 3 December 2023 | Revised: 8 January 2024 | Accepted: 18 January 2024


Conflicts of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest to this work.

Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to privacy or ethical restrictions.




How to Cite

Fuchs, K. (2024). The Discourse on Student Engagement and Motivation Among Foreign Students in Finland. International Journal of Changes in Education.



Research Articles