Higher Education

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 399–420 | Cite as

Exploring time allocation for academic activities by university students in France



The purpose of this article is to study how students allocate time to different university and extra-university activities and to identify factors that might explain variability both between and within fields of study. At the heart of this exercise is the question of the time students dedicate to academic activities in competition with a whole range of other activities. In the literature, multiple candidate explanations are available that arise from models from essentially different conceptual origin. In particular, economic, sociological, and phenomenologically inspired models could provide valuable insight into the question. After a critical examination of these models on their potential for explaining time allocation, a study is reported involving a survey in higher education institutions in France. Data were analyzed using a hierarchical linear modeling approach. Results show that time allocation seems to be rooted in students’ past and current experience more than in their anticipations of the future. Implications for the value of the models in relation to the study of time allocation are discussed.


Time allocation Rational choice model Cultural capital Phenomenology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Educational SciencesUniv. Grenoble AlpesGrenoble Cedex 9France

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