Factors affecting the academic performance of undergraduate students of Makerere University; A case of School of Statistics
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This study was designed to investigate the factors affecting academic performance of undergraduate students of Makerere University. Emphasis was put on trying to establish the relationship between admission points, parents’ social economic status, former school background and academic performance of undergraduate students at Makerere University- School of statistics. The study employed the use of descriptive design to establish the nature of the relationships. The validity and reliability of research instruments was established and data was collected from 50 respondents selected from the school of statistics using the simple random sampling method. To analyze the data, qualitative and quantitative methods were used with the aim of establishing the relationship between students’ admission points, parents’ social economic status, former school background and academic performance of undergraduate students at Makerere University School of Statistics. This formed the basis of the detailed analysis and conclusions and recommendations. The findings revealed the existence of a significant relationship between students’ A’ level and Diploma admission points and academic performance, but there was no relationship between mature age points and academic performance. The findings also revealed that there was a significant relationship between parents’ social economic status and academic performance and a significant relationship between former school background and academic performance. On the basis of the findings, the researcher made the following conclusions; A’ level and diploma admission points are the most objective way to select just a few students from a multitude of applicants for the limited spaces available at universities in Uganda. Parents’ social economic status is important because parents provide high levels of psychological support for their children through environments that encourage the development of skills necessary for success at school. That location, ownership and academic and financial status of schools do count on making a school what it is and in turn influencing the academic performance of its students because they set the parameters of a students’ learning experience. The researcher also confirmed the system’s theory input output model. On the basis of the conclusions made, the researcher recommended that; Makerere University maintains its selection criteria of using previous academic performance as a measure of admitting students for undergraduate programs. However mature age students could be given supplementary year or probation year to test their competency in addition to the entrance exam. The University should improve the student support system such that students from low social economic backgrounds are identified and assisted through offering scholarships. This study identified the need to investigate and analyze the mature age and international students’ recipe for success in higher education with the intention of developing some of these aspects for inclusion in all student selections.