Admission path, family structure and outcomes in Ghana’s public universities: evidence from KNUST students enrolled in the social sciences

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The International Journal of Higher Education Research
At the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, first year enrolment increased by 1466.81% from 708 in 1961/1962 to 11,093 in 2011. In the 2013/2014 academic year, the total student population was 45,897. There are now five main admission paths, comprising regular, mature, fee paying, less endowed, and protocol/staff admissions. The number of dropouts and fails has risen steeply, for example, at the end of the 2013/2014 academic year, roughly 22.11% of the 1239 students were either withdrawn or repeated at the Faculty of Social Sciences due to non-performance. This paper examined the impact of the admission path and family structure on university students’ academic outcomes. A logistic model was applied to individual-level data obtained from 1000 students enrolled at the Faculty of Social Sciences in the university. The results indicated that the regular and mature admission paths have a positive impact on performance whilst the fee-paying admission path has a significant negative influence on academic performance. It wasalsofoundthatthefamilystructure(livingwiththefatherandmotherandthemotheronly) has a significant positive influence on performance. The study recommended that lecturers should bemotivated to conductadditionalclasses foracademicallyweakstudents.Counselling units should also identify students who experienced disruption in home life and raise their aspirations.
Article published in The International Journal of Higher Education Research, 2017
Admissionpath, Family structure, Cumulative weighted average, Academic performance, University, Ghana
The International Journal of Higher Education Research 2017, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 1069–1089