To read this content please select one of the options below:

Factors motivating students' intention to accept online learning in emerging countries: the case study of Vietnam

Huyen Pham Thi (Department of Marketing, National Economics University, Hanoi, VietNam)
Que Nhi Tran (Department of Marketing, National Economics University, Hanoi, VietNam)
Long Gia La (Department of Marketing, National Economics University, Hanoi, VietNam)
Ha My Doan (Department of Marketing, National Economics University, Hanoi, VietNam)
Tien Duc Vu (Department of Marketing, National Economics University, Hanoi, VietNam)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 17 March 2022

Issue publication date: 28 February 2023




This paper, employing the model integrated from Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and Technology Acceptance (TAM), will examine factors affecting Vietnamese students' acceptance behaviour towards online learning. The research aims at finding out the motivating factors and measuring their influence on students' intention to accept digital transformation in learning. Based on the results, the authors propose some valuable suggestions to encourage acceptance of online learning behaviour, to enhance and apply digital transformation to higher education in Vietnam, especially in the Covid-19 pandemic, when most of the schools all over the world were forced to close.


The research team used 913 responds' non-convenient probability sampling method, focusing on students currently studying at undergraduate education institutions across the country, studying different training majors, in different academic years. With the questionnaire designed through qualitative research, a preliminary quantitative study with 53 responses has been conducted. Based on the results, the authors completed the questionnaire then conducted a formal quantitative survey. Cronbach alpha, EFA, CFA and SEM have been used to explore the meanings of data collected.


The results from analysing 913 undergraduates reveal that Attitude (influenced by Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use), IT Ability and Self-study Ability impact the intention of accepting online learning at the beginning and digital transformation in the future. Meanwhile, Subjective Norm and Financial Ability do not have any role in fostering the intent of accepting new studying mode among Vietnamese students because of IR4.0 and the low expense for online learning. Research findings are the premise for the authors to provide suggestions for students, institutions on enhancing their digital transformation process through their changing behaviours in the relationship with other stakeholders surrounding the learning process of students.

Research limitations/implications

The authors found that previous studies only focused on one or two factors according to the TAM or TPB model; or have not clarified all the stages in the process of changing learning methods behaviour. Therefore, this study combined both models to analyse in more detail the above process as well as exploit new influencing factors to complete the research scale. The main limitation of this study was that the sample has been taken in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing all students to online learning, even they are willing or not.

Practical implications

The research is conducted in the context of Covid-19 outspread, the society has inevitably transitioned to digital transformation, especially with the education sector. Based on the results of analysing the changing process among students from accepting online learning to their intention to change the learning behaviour, the authors proposed some recommendations for universities that build the landscape for study; for lecturers – the most important factor in connecting the students to the working world with knowledge and skills; and especially for students, who need to have actively in receiving knowledge and self-study in the era of IR4.0.


This study adds to the existing literature related to solutions to motivate intention to accept online learning in higher education institutions. With online learning gradually being adopted around the world, the study examined the factors driving the intention to study online in emerging countries. In particular, the study focuses specifically on the case of Vietnam. This result from this study can serve as a guide for higher education institutions as a premise to develop future research directions. It may be useful for studies at higher education institutions in emerging countries similar to Vietnam; in-depth research into research subjects at higher education institutions; or study countries with cultures, customs and habits equivalent to Vietnam, etc. Finally, we are certain that the material presented in this manuscript will not infringe any statutory copyright and that the manuscript will not be submitted elsewhere while being reviewed by the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education assessment.



This research is funded by National Economics University, Hanoi, Vietnam. Our study received positive feedback from students from many higher education institutions in Vietnam, namely Hanoi University of Science and Technology, National University of Civil Engineering, Hanoi University, Hanoi Medical University, Academy of Finance, Academy of Journalism and Communication, People's Police Academy, System of Universities under Vietnam National University – Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and some other universities in Vietnam.


Thi, H.P., Tran, Q.N., La, L.G., Doan, H.M. and Vu, T.D. (2023), "Factors motivating students' intention to accept online learning in emerging countries: the case study of Vietnam", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 324-341.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles