The expansion in the number of people entering higher education has resulted in a substantial increase in the proportion of students enrolling in nontraditional modes, such as part-time study. This study examined the question of whether part-time study curtails the development of the types of intellectual capabilities needed for a knowl- edge-based economy, because the students would have markedly less exposure to a stimulating campus environment than their full-time counterparts. Graduates from discrete full- and part-time programs from 1 university in Hong Kong completed a survey seeking perceptions of the nurturing of a range of capabilities, together with measures of teacher–student relationships and type of teaching experienced. Two hy- potheses were tested by structural equation modeling: (a) the same mechanism for capability development operated for full- and part-time modes and (b) the principal element of the mechanism was the nature of teaching and the quality of teacher–stu- dent interaction. Hypothesis 1was supported because configural invariance between hypothesized models for capability development between the 2 modes was found. Hypothesis 2was also supported because the models showed that the principal influ- ence on capability development came from teaching for understanding, through pro- moting active learning experiences and the degree and quality of teacher–student interaction.
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