What Drives First-Generation Students in Ghana to be Resilient in Pursuing Higher Education?

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


In this study, first-generation students (FGS) motivations in Ghana's higher education system were explored. Only a few studies in Africa, notably Ghana, have focused on the concept of FGS. FGS who are conceptualized as learners whose parents did not complete or attend university, encounter challenges that impair their motivations and resilience to complete higher education. This paper employed a conceptual framework build from the Ecological theory to looked into FGS motivations and how these motivations ensure their resilience and success by engaging 15 participants in a Phenomenological study at the University of Education Winneba, which is a large public university viewed as a haven for FGS in Ghana because of its mandate to train teachers for immediate employment. The study's findings demonstrate how FGS's motivation to seek higher education is shaped by personal, societal, family, and institutional factors which has made them form self-agency and a range of character traits to be resilient. This paper argues that being mindful of barriers that impede FGS motivations to successfully navigate higher education will help them move forward. Therefore, a collaborative effort which requires universities, the Ministry of Education, and policymakers in Ghana to redesign their approaches to influence FGS policies and practices to reach out to such vulnerable groups in the higher education environment is crucial.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023
EventPostgraduate Conference on Interdisciplinary Learning: Intersections of Research, Society & Postgraduate Education - Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Duration: 31 Mar 20231 Apr 2023


ConferencePostgraduate Conference on Interdisciplinary Learning
CityHong Kong


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