We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Joe Elliott

Remedios, R., Kiseleva, Z. & Elliott, J.G. (2008). Goal orientations in Russian university students: from mastery to performance? Educational Psychology 28(6): 677-691.

Author(s) from Durham


Research in the UK has shown that students start their university career with the goal of mastering their subject, but this focus shifts as they progress through their degree program. Studies have suggested that unlike students in the UK, Russian students continue to take a strong mastery approach to their work. The main aim of this study was to assess whether the effects observed in UK studies could be found in a Russian context. In a cross-sectional study, 618 students across four years of a degree program in a Russian university completed an achievement-goal questionnaire. Results revealed patterns similar to the studies in the UK; Russian students' levels of mastery were significantly lower after Year 1. The results are discussed in terms of potential changes in Russian culture. Methodological issues relating to the relative failure of some questionnaire items to validate fully within their hypothesised constructs are also discussed.