Factors influencing students’ choice of courses at Makerere University: a case study of School of Statistics and Planning
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The purpose of the study was to analyze and ascertain the factors affecting students’ choice of programmes/courses at school of statistics and planning. The sample size was comprising 91 year one students of the academic year 2019/2020 at school of statistics and planning, Makerere University. The data was obtained by use of a structured closed ended questionnaire. The determining rates of the responses to questions posed were Strongly agreed (5): Agreed (4), Not Sure (3), Disagree (2), and Strongly disagree (1). and the data was analyzed at two levels that is to say univariate and bivariate analysis. Study findings indicated that there was a significant statistical association between general performance of the students in the course, student`s financial background, academic scores of the student as per form six, cost of pursuing the course, opportunity to get a job after graduation, knowledge of career progress after graduation and opportunities to major in areas of interest with student`s choice of course as the p-value was less than 0.05 which makes the stated null hypotheses for these factors false. Therefore, it authenticates that student`s choice of course is affected by the above factors. Therefore, the researcher recommended to tailor curriculum of academic programmes to meet the aspirations of applicants, curriculum development should be undertaken to learner’s level of understanding and interest through consistent monitoring of the requirements of the job markets, monitoring the activities of the university in areas such as attitude of teaching and non-teaching staff toward students, supervision of quizzes and exams, scoring from scripts for both exams and quizzes. Factor analysis of ratings of importance of five or six variable characteristics yielded dimensions upon which student decisions are based. These are the academic reputation of the institution, general performance of the students in the course, programme quality and size, cost of the programme, student’s financial background, geographical location, contact with faculty, and students’ individual characteristics such as academic ability and achievement.