Analysis of the factors influencing transitioning of learners from secondary schools to tertiary education institutions (evidence from the Uganda National Household Survey 2019/2020)
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Tertiary education is increasingly vital for economic and social mobility. While existing research primarily focuses on broad trends within the education sector, there is a dearth of studies exploring the specific factors influencing the transition of students from secondary school to tertiary institutions in Uganda. This dissertation addresses this gap by examining the determinants of this critical transition. The study leveraged secondary data from the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) conducted in 2019/2020. Utilizing STATA version 15.0 software, the data was meticulously cleaned and subjected to bivariate, univariate, and multivariate analyses. The results of the study revealed intriguing insights. Gender was not a significant factor affecting the transition from secondary school to tertiary education, with both males and females exhibiting comparable likelihoods. However, age emerged as a crucial factor, as older respondents had significantly higher chances of progressing to tertiary education institutions, particularly those aged over 20. Furthermore, the place of residence had a substantial impact, as students from urban areas displayed a higher likelihood of transitioning, emphasizing the urban-rural divide. In contrast, the region of origin did not prove to be a significant factor affecting transition, with respondents from the Northern region exhibiting the least likelihood to transition compared to their counterparts from the Central Region. Wealth quintile played a significant role, as students from higher wealth rankings had substantially greater chances of transitioning, highlighting the role of socio-economic status in educational progression. Surprisingly, the relationship to the family head was not associated with transition, debunking the conventional belief that biological children of household heads had a higher likelihood of progressing to tertiary education. Based on these findings, several policy recommendations emerge. To facilitate the transition process, the government should collaborate with local organizations and community groups to provide resources and support for students and families facing challenges related to changing residences. Financial assistance or scholarships should be offered to students and families who struggle to afford the costs of transitioning. Additionally, resources and support should be provided to help navigate the financial aspects of the transition, including assistance with financial aid forms and scholarship applications. Collaboration with employers and stakeholders is essential to promote fair labour practices and prevent the exploitation of children during this transition. Counselling and support services should also be made available to help students and families adjust to any financial changes associated with the transition, ensuring that education remains accessible and equitable for all.