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Impact of COVID-19 on undergraduate business students: a longitudinal study on academic motivation, engagement and attachment to university

Rita Pasion (Laboratory of Neuropsychophysiology, Faculty of Psychology and Education Science, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal and Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal)
Eva Dias-Oliveira (Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal)
Ana Camacho (School of Health, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal)
Catarina Morais (Research Centre for Human Development, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal)
Raquel Campos Franco (Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Article publication date: 18 December 2020

Issue publication date: 19 July 2021

847

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore whether the COVID-19-related circumstances hindered these academic-related variables.

Design Methodology Approach

The authors surveyed two groups of undergraduate business students (42% male) who completed the questionnaires at the beginning and at the end of the semester. One group of students attended only face-to-face classes in the 2018/2019 academic year (n = 126) and the other group transitioned to online classes because of the COVID-19 outbreak in the 2019/2020 academic year (n = 99).

Findings

The findings show no statistically significant group differences between the pre- and post-test in students’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, feelings of attachment to the university and engagement dimensions of absorption and vigour. Nevertheless, a moderate negative effect was found in the dedication engagement dimension.

Practical Implications

The authors discuss the main results in terms of some practices that may contribute towards attenuating the effects of future emerging pandemics in the higher education setting.

Originality Value

The COVID-19 pandemic imposed a rapid transition to online instruction in education institutions worldwide. However, it remains unclear to date how students’ engagement, motivation and attachment to the university were negatively affected by the first COVID-19 outbreak.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This research was funded by Foundation for Science and Technology under Grant references SFRH/BD/116281/2016 awarded to Ana Camanho and SFRH/BD/117130/2016 awarded to Rita Pasion.

Conflicts of interest: No potential competing interest was reported by the authors.

Citation

Pasion, R., Dias-Oliveira, E., Camacho, A., Morais, C. and Campos Franco, R. (2021), "Impact of COVID-19 on undergraduate business students: a longitudinal study on academic motivation, engagement and attachment to university", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 246-257. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-09-2020-0286

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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