Factors affecting international students’ academic performance: a case study of Makerere University
Garang, Daniel Adhal
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The main objective of this study was to assess the factors that affect international students’ academic performance at Makerere University. A quantitative cross-sectional research survey was employed. Participants in this study included university students of 100 respondents selected conveniently due to COVID’19 global pandemic which dispersed students and restricted movement. Frequencies and summary statistics were used during univariate analysis whereas correlation and linear regression at the bivariate and multivariate analysis. A relatively large of the respondents were male (54%). A large proportion of international students studying at Makerere University come from East African countries (86.9%) with Swahili as their dominant primary language (38%) and French as the least spoken primary language (4%). Most (67%) respondents agreed that food items in Uganda sell less expensive than in their home countries. A large number (70%) of the students reported that they do not struggle financially to pay tuition while at campus and at the same time agreeing that pocket money is not always enough. It was also found that majority of the international students reside in hostels (79%) while few reside in halls (7%), commute from home (8%) or live-in rentals (9%). On multivariate analysis, age, gender, refugee status, English language and type of Sponsorship were selected. The student’s CGPA, keeping other factors constant, is 3.53. Refugee status was found to have a significant impact on academic performance. On average, a refugee student has a CGPA lower by 0.278 p-value (0.007<0.05) as compared to non-refugee students. The findings reveal that (i) future studies should include more than one institution/university in order to have a larger sample size, (ii). Focus needs to be given to the refugee students by policy makers and governments since they have low CGPA.