Longitudinal Analysis of Performances of Beneficiaries of Affirmative Action Policy in Higher Education: A Case of Female Engineering Students of Makerere University in Uganda
Lating, Peter Okidi
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In order to improve the participation of women in higher education, in 1990 Government of Uganda introduced 1.5 bonus marks for every female student applying for vacancies in public universities and other tertiary institutions. The policy has remained in force up to now. However, no systematic study has been done to demonstrate how the beneficiaries of the Government affirmative policy perform while they are in the universities. Makerere University, the most dominant public university in Uganda, has been implementing the policy from 1990/1991 academic year. The aim of the study was to investigate the changes in the performances of the female engineering students of Makerere University, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) for the entire four-year duration of their stay on the engineering programmes. From the office of the Senior Academic Registrar of CEDAT, 30 female students who were admitted into Mechanical, Civil and Electrical Engineering programmes in 2004 were identified. Of these, 11 were found to be beneficiaries of the 1.5 bonus marks. The Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of each of the participants in the study was collected. For successful students who finally graduated from the University, eight sets of results were collected. Multilevel analysis methods were used for the analysis of the longitudinal data collected. Three models were specified: the fully unconditional means model (Model A), the fully unconditional growth model (Model B) and the fully conditional model (Model C). The models were fitted to data. Deviances of the models were calculated. To answer the researchquestion, the models B and C were compared by getting their deviance differences and were found to be – 26.5 (2 df, p < 0.995). Since 0.995 cal p is > p= 0.05, we failed to reject the null hypothesis at 95% level. The paper concluded that there was no significant difference in performances between the beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of the 1.5 bonus marks. While at the beginning the female students were admitted on lower grades, their rate of improvement with increasing stay of the programmes was 32% higher that that of the nonbeneficiaries.
- Social Sciences