Help-seeking behaviours in students in under-resourced universities (developing countries)


Recently, one of our Department’s Visiting Research Fellow, Maha Al- Madani, from Saudi Arabia, was presenting her work on nurse practitioners at the University of Dammam. One of the things that she mentioned was about students’ complaining about the amount of ink they need to use to print documents for their portfolios.

This got me reminiscing about the challenges I faced when I was doing my undergraduate degree at the University of Guyana. Here in the UK, I have noticed that the majority of students take having all the resources and facilities that they have (computers, libraries with books and journals, learning developers etc.) for granted. But many universities in less developing countries are often under-resourced (see Bano and Taylor, 2015). The student experience in these developing countries, in comparison, to the UK is clearly different.

However, my feeling (rather than knowing) is that having a student experience which is under-resourced, make some students more resilient and more prone to problem-solving and finding solutions within themselves, rather than depending upon or expecting someone else to solve the problem for them. On the other hand, it may allow some students to be more accepting of the situation/ circumstances and expect that the university to take into account their circumstances when looking at their performance. I feel that students in under-resourced universities, their help-seeking behaviour may be quite different than those in highly resourced universities.  In particular, that there will be a tendency for help-seeking behaviour to be directed to oneself than others i.e. being more independent.


Bano, S., & Taylor, J. (2015). Universities and the knowledge-based economy: Perceptions from a developing country. Higher Education Research & Development, 34(2), 242-255. doi:10.1080/07294360.2014.956696


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