The article features the role of motivation for higher education. The authors state that learning motivation is one of the decisive factors of educational process efficiency at higher educational institutes, presenting a set of motives that cause students’ activity in the educational process. The knowledge available in the psycho-pedagogical science about the issues of learning motivation is synthesized. The article presents the results of the survey conducted among the first-year students of Kuzbass State Technical University named after T. F. Gorbachev to explore meaningful aspects of their learning motivation. It is noted that a group of material motives, in which students perceive learning as the basis for their future decent material life, and a group of civil motives, in which students perceive learning as preparation for future social life, are their main leaning motives. Cognitive motive, such as a desire for new knowledge, are also revealed in the student survey. A group of prestige motives, such as a desire for a high social status, is also revealed. Most of the students' learning motives are attributed to the group of external motives. The results obtained, according to the authors, are a signal for teachers to search for approaches that are aimed at developing their students' internal motivation. Internal motives of learning can be considered as semantic motives for learning activity. Identified motives are also referred by the authors to a group of conscious motives. The importance of conducting such surveys is emphasized; on the one hand, for students themselves and the process of comprehension of their desires and needs; on the other hand, for planning and development of learning motivation and searching for effective motivationally-oriented approaches to teaching.
learning motivation at higher educational institutes, a motive, students’ motivational sphere