Financial Constraints and their Impact on University Students of Different Nationalities in the United Arab Emirates  

Smitha Dev, Jaya Abraham, Sreethi Nair, Sania Ashraf


Financial constraints caused by the economic slowdown in 2020 and COVID-19 that followed, affecting the student motivation for academic achievements, are of strategic importance to the global higher education (HE) sectors.  This study aims to examine the effects of financial constraints on the motivation and academic performance of students of different nationalities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the pandemic.  This study will help us recognize the challenges among students from different backgrounds and nationalities and develop remedial strategies with a global perspective.  We used a Likert scale-based questionnaire to collect data on motivation level, and associated variables from a sample of 371 students enrolled in different colleges in the UAE. Statistical techniques such as t-test, F-test, and chi-square test were used to explore the relationship between the variables in the data. The findings of the study revealed that financial constraints during the pandemic did not significantly affect academic motivation, regardless of gender, nationality, and age. The participants expressed that they were prepared and aware of the sunk costs involved in education.  However, as the financial impact of the pandemic extended beyond 2020, unemployment increased, and parents were less prepared to bear their children’s education costs. This inevitably increased the responsibilities of the universities to provide financial support to deserving students.


Financial constraints, Motivation, Academic Achievement, Higher education

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