Factors Deterring Male Enrollment in Higher Education in Barbados



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Walden University


Barbados, a small island in the Caribbean, is experiencing the challenge of low male enrollment in higher education (HE). The research indicated that this problem, left unaddressed, could undermine the development of men, their families, and communities. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to provide insight into the dispositional, institutional, and situational factors deterring young men who acquired the requisite number of certificates for entry to HE but did not enroll. The theoretical frameworks used to ground this study were Cross’s chain of response theory, Bourdieu’s social capital theory, and Knowles’ theory of andragogy. The research questions addressed the contributing factors to the disinclination of men from enrolling in higher education, suggestions for increasing enrollment in higher education from the perspectives of young men and educational leaders, and benefits of nonenrollment in higher education in Barbados. A purposeful sample of 7 men from the 2014 academic year cohort of 3 secondary schools participated in semistructured interviews. Five educational leaders from secondary, HEs, and the Ministry of Education (MoE) participated in a focus group. Data were transcribed, member checked, and then inductively coded for emergent themes using attribute, descriptive, versus, and axial coding. The major finding was that institutional factors accounted predominately in deterring young men from enrolling in HE in Barbados. This project study has strong implications for social change as it may be used to inform efforts by secondary school principals, higher education leaders, and administrators in the MoE to increase the number of young men enrolled in HE in Barbados.


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Male enrollment, Higher education, Barbados