Original Research

Motivations for enrolling in university courses: Insights from an entrepreneurship course

Adolph C. Neethling
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 16, No 1 | a673 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v16i1.673 | © 2024 Adolph C. Neethling | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 November 2022 | Published: 19 January 2024

About the author(s)

Adolph C. Neethling, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Background: Studies on the impact of entrepreneurship education (EE) have produced mixed results, leading researchers to examine the reason for such inconsistencies. This article examines course enrolment motivation, as a possible factor contributing to the inconsistency in findings on EE impact studies.

Aim: This study aims to identify whether students registered for a business degree exhibit different motivations for enrolling for a course in entrepreneurship and should such differences be found, to identify what the different motivations are.

Setting: Data are collected from second-year students registered for a business degree at a South African university.

Methods: Using purposive sampling, a survey was circulated to second-year business students in class after which the data were subjected to a principal component analysis to check for differences in motivation.

Results: Three categories of responses were identified proving that there were statistically distinguishable differences in enrolment motivation.

Conclusion: Three course motivational factors explain why students choose to register for an entrepreneurship course.

Contribution: This study finds that not all students who have enrolled for a course in entrepreneurship have a desire or interest in entrepreneurship. This study suggests items and dimensions for measuring course enrolment motivation. Hence, the study also introduces a new measure that should be considered in future studies on the impact of EE and suggests further studies to confirm whether it impacts on EE.


entrepreneurship education; course enrolment; motivation; principal component analysis; impact studies.

JEL Codes

A19: Other

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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