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Education Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 152747, 10 pages
Research Article

Students' Persistence and Academic Success in a First-Year Professional Bachelor Program: The Influence of Students' Learning Strategies and Academic Motivation

1EduBROn-research group, Institute of Education and Information Sciences, University of Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
2REPRO-research group, Institute of Education and Information Sciences, University of Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Received 7 December 2011; Revised 2 August 2012; Accepted 16 August 2012

Academic Editor: Eduardo Cascallar

Copyright © 2012 Gert Vanthournout et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study explores whether students' learning strategies and academic motivation predict persistence and academic success in the first year of higher education. Freshmen students in a professional bachelor program in teacher education were questioned on their learning strategy use and motivation at the start and at the end of the academic year. Students' learning strategies were assessed using the inventory of learning styles-SV. Motivation was measured using scales from the self-regulation questionnaire and the academic motivation scale. Gender and students' prior education were incorporated as control variables. Logistic regression analyses and general linear modelling were applied to predict persistence and academic success, respectively. In each case a stepwise approach in data analysis was used. Results on persistence indicate that lack of regulation and amotivation at the start of the year are significant predictors. For academic success, results showed that relating and structuring, lack of regulation, and lack of motivation at the end of the year are meaningful predictors. Overall, our study demonstrates that learning strategies and motivation have a moderate explanatory value regarding academic success and persistence, and that these effects remain even after controlling for the influence of background variables.